God woke me up when it comes to forgiveness. I used to think forgiveness was as simple as saying I forgive someone. God commands us to forgive. So all I need to do is decide to forgive in obedience to God and go off on my merry way. God used the Bible verses below to show me something I had entirely missed. God commands us to forgive FROM THE HEART!
Again and again His Holy Spirit has showed me that I have NOT forgiven someone I thought I had forgiven. How so? When we still have yucky and bad feelings in our hearts toward someone, when we are unwilling to show them love and mercy, when we speak about them in an unloving way, when we still feel offended by them, when we keep replaying how they hurt us over and again, when we don’t want God’s best for them, when we are unwilling and unable to pray for them if, when, and as the Lord leads us, I daresay we have not forgiven FROM THE HEART.
Perhaps you think in some situations with some people it is simply impossible to forgive. I would have to agree. Impossible in our flesh to forgive apart from God. But when we cry out to God, pour out our hearts to Him, repent of any of our own sin including pride, bitterness, anger, vengeance, etc., and we seek Him and His love and strength and the ability to forgive, I am confident God by His Holy Spirit who lives in His followers will enable us to forgive – FROM THE HEART. May not be easy. May be downright incredibly hard. But God will give us the wherewithal to forgive – FROM THE HEART – in obedience to Him. And when we are yielded to Him and living in obedience to Him, we can seek and receive from Him the love, comfort, healing, wisdom, etc. we need!
Please be aware sometimes we truly forgive FROM THE HEART but the person offends us again. Or the person doesn’t offend us again but we fall into the temptation of rehashing what happened and we get upset all over again. What should we do? Turn to the Lord – and forgive. FROM THE HEART. Amen!
I so encourage you to read this powerful story from the Bible with the awesome and challenging TRUTH about forgiving – FROM THE HEART!
“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”” Matthew 18:19-35 NKJV