Let’s lengthen yesterday’s list of sins against us:
breaking and entering,
Have I hit you yet?
What to do! Outside of calling the police, or suing, which can be legitimate actions, how do we finally get some peace about the hurtful things people do to us?
Yes, that’s the answer; that’s how we get peace. And forgiveness is often the one thing we least understand and least want.
Like bad-tasting medicine.
Just as in yesterday’s post, the first reason is God.
1. God. God requires us to forgive. This is the best reason because when we are wounded and aching on the inside, we don’t understand much—but we don’t even have to think. We just know what He requires and we prepare to go there.
God also promises to reward our forgiveness toward others with His forgiveness toward us, which, if we are honest, should highly motivate us.
And like any good father, God teaches by example. He shows us how to do forgiveness, in the most radical, graphic way.
2. Man. Man wants and needs forgiveness. Who among us is innocent?
To keep God’s forgiveness, we must be forgiving. Since He has shown us His awesome power to forgive, how can we do less than try to imitate Him? That is His thinking.
Forgiveness also frees man to be able to hear God. Before we forgive, all we can hear from Him is how we ought to forgive. Once we are over that hurdle, He can show us so much more.
Lack of forgiveness binds us to the sinner we refuse to forgive. This is so scary. What it means is that when we refuse to forgive sin against us, when we hug it up to ourselves and get it out and look at it every day, we start BEING like that sin.
Look at it this way: With a physical wound, if we treat it correctly, we can greatly minimize the scarring. But if we refuse to remove the dirt, refuse to medicate it, refuse a bandage, and continue picking at it, we make it worse. Bigger. Deeper. Uglier. Longer-lasting. More painful.
With a spiritual wound, we can even pass it down to our children…
3. Satan. Of course, he hates forgiveness, a real no-brainer, right?
The fun thing about this is when we obey God about forgiving, we SHUT THE DOOR TO HIS ENEMY. This is exactly what we need.
The reverse is also true, though: when we disobey about forgiving, we open a door to him and his horrible ways.
Stop by tomorrow for Part 3, about what forgiveness actually is.
I promise you, you will find it WONDERFUL NEWS!
Image by Andreas Winterer via Flickr
12 thoughts on “Dust to Dust Do-Over”
Thanks for the reminder. We can never hear this too often because we easily forget this truth when we are in pain from hurtful experiences. Yes, it seems like bitter medicine at first, but it produces a sweetness in the soul when we follow God’s instructions. It is the only way to get rid of the pain and prevent a bitter spirit that will destroy us and hurt everyone around us.
Thanks for this! 🙂 Of course, you are so right!
Thanks for the post! As you know, I struggle with forgiveness. (I haven’t lately, but I can’t figure out whether I’m growing or whether nothing much has come up.) Anyway, someone posted this verse to a forum the other day, and it really struck me: The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17.
It struck me that God loves me so much; I am so precious to Him that He sings over me. And then I thought of how this verse applies to every child of God. So when I don’t forgive someone, I am mistreating one of God’s favored, precious children. And when it comes to the lost, He desires to save them, to rejoice over them. I think this verse has helped me realize just how precious we all are in His sight.
You are welcome! And thanks for this great comment! 🙂 How amazing that God sings over us, He is so full of joy over us! And Jesus said there is MORE joy in Heaven over finding one that is lost, than there is over having the 99 that are saved. I’m not so hot at math, but I think that is a huge ratio, comparison-wise. Which is why I try hard to reach out to the lost. And I think it is why the enemy clings so tightly to them.
I love your wound and bandage analogy. It is just a perfect comparison. Sadly, when we wallow in unforgiveness it affects not only our own souls but others as well. You so aptly explained it all.
Thanks for the compliment, Kate! Yes, we do always rub off on others, show a picture of heaven to others (whether it is a wrong picture or not). It is why we are here. May we always show right pictures!
I’m going to be stopping by often. No, I decided to sign up for posts. That way I won’t miss any.
I am half way through a post about forgiveness and then I find this. Maybe I’ll pick up some tips! We’re sure on the same ‘page’. I was writing about the 10th Step and the 4th Step this week and that led to so many thoughts about forgiveness that I can’t ignore it!
Glad to find you. By the way, your Gravatar needs to show where you can be found. Contact me if you want an easy fix.
Oh, Heidi, thanks so much for these kind comments! And THANK YOU for signing up!
It is wonderful, isn’t it, how God orchestrates every detail of our lives!
I am glad we are on the same page. 🙂
I will try hard to figure out why my gravatar no longer shows how to contact me. Thanks for any help anyone can give!
Yeah! You met! Wonderful connection. God works in wonderful and mysterious ways.. yes sir!
I obviously love this post. It is MY WALK now and not an easy one. It is one I know I MUST walk and I know I do not walk it alone. Peace, Jen
Oh, yes, wouldn’t miss Heidi for the world. Makes me want to drive on out to the Texan outback. 🙂
You know, sometimes I say forgiveness is not hard–just impossible. But with God, impossible things are the new possibility . . .
And, with God, we do not walk alone.
Peace to you, Dearest Jen.