Okay this one is the hardest for me,Â because people have hurt me, and it’s natural to want revenge but that’s not what Jesus said for us to do.
Ephesians 4::32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another,Â forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” (NIV)
The word “forgive” or a form of it is mentioned 95 times in the Bible.
48 times in the Oid Testament.
47 in the New Testament.
With that kind of repetition, we know that it is important to God.
Question 1: What happens if I don’t forgive?
Answer: Heb. 12:15 tells us if we don’t forgive, then bitterness takes root inside us and defiles us, changes us.
Question 2: Have you heard this? “I’ll forgive but I won’t forget!”
Answer: I have heard it often. Jesus tells us in the model prayer, “The Lord’s Prayer” as we call it, ( Matt. 6:12-15; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 11:4) to forgive. If we don’t, then our prayers won’t get past the ceiling.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians to settle any issues we have with our brothers and sisters before we pray. It is called “reconciliation.” If we don’t, (Matt. 5:23-24) Jesus won’t hear us.
Forgiveness begins with you, on the inside. You have to be willing to forgive. Why? As I said, we are told in Hebrews 12:15, that bitterness takes root if we are unwilling to forgive. I’ve seen bitter people and the world is full of them. The churches are full of them too! Yes, I said it – because I’ve seen it.
And finally, forgiveness heals. Not only the one you forgive, but you, too. It starts on the inside and works its way out. Healing takes place and miracles can happen.
When Jesus healed someone in the gospels, (read them,) he forgave that person,Â and they were made whole.