Relationships 101 - Forgiveness Part 2
Matthew 18:26 The servant, therefore, fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. :27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
The funny thing about forgiveness is that forgiveness isn't easy. You would think if God wanted us to forgive all the time He would have made it easier to do it. But it isn't. In fact, the things we know we need to do are most often the hardest decisions to make.
There is a price associated with forgiveness. Way back 2,000 years ago there was a price associated with forgiveness. It wasn't free. However, I am a benefactor of that price that was paid.
Jesus Christ stepped in and satisfied the demands of a holy God. When there was a 12 million dollar sin bill that needed to be paid, Jesus stepped in and paid the ultimate price so that I could receive forgiveness. Salvation is free but it isn't free.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
In order for me to extend the same level for forgiveness to others as Christ did for me, there is a few things to consider...
1. You will have to deny your flesh - If you are going to make up your mind to choose to forgive, then you must deny your flesh. Your flesh wants to get even, your flesh wants to get back, and your flesh wants the other party to experience pain and calamity.
But if you're going to get passed all the wrongdoing that has happened to you, then you must first get passed the flesh! It has been said that those who study revenge keep their wounds green.
You must get passed the flesh. Forgiveness goes against our human nature! Because we are selfish creatures, we must depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and know we must kill this flesh daily if we want to fulfill the plan of Christ!
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
2. Let Go of the Baggage & Apply the Bandage - The debtor in our story choose to bring his baggage everywhere he went. Maybe every time he saw his fellow servant he thought to himself the debt he owed.
Every time he saw him in the market, every time, he saw him in the city streets, every time he saw him at work. He chose to carry his baggage everywhere he went. He could not let the $1.60 go. He chose to bring his baggage and not apply the bandage. All the while he was forgiven of the momentous debt he owed.
A very expensive price for forgiveness is to choose to lay down your baggage and knowing it's time to apply the bandages. You have to choose to let go of the baggage before the baggage gets rid of you. Choose today that you're putting down the baggage; you're putting down all the things that have happened to you.
3. You will have to depend on Christ - There is no way you will be able to forgive in your own power. Your flesh will always get in the way. You will have to rely and depend upon Jesus Christ our Lord!
There is only one true remedy-Jesus Christ. He is the only one that delivers us from the anger and resentment and unforgiveness in our hearts. He is the only one that can bring peace in the midst of a storm. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Phil 4:13 says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
4. The Actions You Must Take -
a. Decide – You will never forgive if you wait until you feel like it. Choose to obey God and steadfastly resist the devil in his attempts to poison you with bitter thoughts. Make a quality decision to forgive, and God will heal your wounded emotions in due time.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
b. Depend – You cannot forgive without the power of the Holy Spirit. It's too hard to do on your own. If you are truly willing, God will enable you, but you must humble yourself and cry out to Him for help.
In John 20:22-23 Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit!" His next instruction was about forgiving people. Ask God to breathe the Holy Spirit on you so you can forgive those who've hurt you.
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."
c. Obey – The Word tells us several things we're to do concerning forgiving our enemies:
i. Pray for your enemies and those who abuse and misuse you. Pray for their happiness and welfare (see Luke 6:27-28). As you pray, God can give them the revelation that will bring them out of deception. They may not even be aware they hurt you, or maybe they're aware but are so self-centered that they don't care. Either way, they need revelation.
ii. We are also instructed to love our enemies. This may be the most difficult thing to do, but if you no longer want to be trapped by the strongholds of emotions, then you must choose love!
Mat 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
iii. Bless and do not curse them (Romans 12:14). Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
In the Greek to bless means "to speak well of" and to curse means "to speak evil of." You can't walk in forgiveness and be a gossip. You must stop repeating the offense. You can't get over it if you continue to talk about it. Proverbs 17:9 says that he who covers an offense seeks love.
Forgiveness is God at His best When man is at his worst
Forgiveness releases you from bondage
Forgiveness reinforced your relationship with God
Forgiveness embodies our responsibility
Forgiveness marks us as a child of God
Forgiveness breaks the hold of the enemy
Forgiveness enables you to be forgiven
Forgiveness is ordained by the father -Forgiveness will set you free!
A forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note, torn in two and burned up, so that it can never be shown against the man. “ ~ Henry Beecher