And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-32
Don't wrestle a bear. Meaning there are things that come in our lives that are not for us to handle. One thing that will surely harm us is not forgiving others. When we don't forgive, we give power to the offence. Yes, it hurt. Yes, it was not right. They don't deserve to be loved. They don't deserve to be forgiven. But if they don't deserve love or to be forgiven, who does? No one deserves it meaning no one has merited it. We have all done things that were not right. We have all hurt people in some way. Yet God has forgiven us. In spite of our rebellion we are fully loved by God. We don't deserve it that is why we are in need of grace. We need unmerited, undeserved favor from God. When we surrender to grace, we can give grace to those that have offended us.
The problem is we identify with the offence. Our identity is tied to what has occurred and we refuse to let it go. We don't want to forget, for it means they got away with it. This is a hard saying for me. I struggle with forgiving. I don't want to dismiss the actions of others, but I do want to be forgiven for what I do. If we are honest we need more grace than others do. Something has to give, why not let the giver be God and not our wrath? Why not lose our life and identity with God's eternal love.
When we enter the kingdom of God little things on earth don't matter much. You don't want anything to take you out of the kingdom mindset. To receive love you have to let go of hate and bitterness. You have to open yourself to grace, so that it can heal your wounds. Jesus gave his life for those that did not want his love. He died for us in spite of our acceptance of Him. On our level if Jesus could do that for us will we forgive someone that has wronged us? The answer is yes. We can give grace to others because we have received grace. We have received a clean slate.
Do you think being crucified did not hurt? Do you think Jesus did not suffer? When you put it that way what we go through is nothing. We can handle racism. We can handle discrimination. We can handle hatred. Not because We are strong, it is because we give our pain to Christ. He knows how to deal with it and still say "Father forgive them for they know not that why do." We give Christ our life and He gives us the freedom to live. We are free from the burden of bitterness, wrath and hatred and we can love because we are loved.
Until next time....