F-O-R-G-I-V-E-N-E-S-S: Are “you” holding back on this? Is there someone, out there…somewhere…..whom you “should be forgiving?” If so… then you NEED to buckle down, grit your teeth… and take care of that particular issue… now! The sooner… the better. …Forgiveness is the “ultimate gift.”
When this “type of subject” comes up, most people… automatically assume, that we’re talking about “infidelity.” Of course… there’s plenty of that to FORGIVE, but no, I’m not talking about that type of STUFF here… maybe fodder for another time.
Rather… I’m talking about forgiving the guy who “stole your idea,” and used it for his own. Or, about the co-worker who said he would “swap vacations weeks” with you, and then reneged, claiming “he forgot.” Or the Boss who promised you a “raise in six months,” but later said he couldn’t AFFORD it. And there are many more “unforgivable” acts against you… that we could get into; but let’s focus on what we have here.
Here are a few QUESTIONS that can be asked: Are any of these “unforgivable acts” LIFE THREATENING? Did any of them cause you and your spouse to SPLIT COMPANY? Did any of them, literally, take MONEY out of your pocket? Did any of them cause you UNREPUTABLE HARM? Did any of them cause you to lose FAME and GLORY that were rightfully your just due?
Let’s go back to David and King Saul…where David had an opportunity to kill King Saul, but refused to do so, because Saul was appointed by His Lord. We’re told in 1 Samuel 24:14-21 – “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.” When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud. “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today. I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. Now swear to me by the Lord that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”
Next, let’s review what Jesus said while hanging on the Cross, as found in Luke 23:33-34 –When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
In Acts 7:59-60, it says – They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
So, as we examine these samples of “extreme forgiveness,” …how can we deny “anyone” forgiveness? A very dramatic example, of FORGIVENESS, was recently witnessed in Charleston, SC, as the families of those shot to death while attending a “bible study,” … and, for all the world to see…were very vocally, very dramatic, very sincerely, and with the “purest, God-like…LOVE….F-O-R-G-I-V-E-N.
In Matthew 18: 21-23 – Jesus tells us: Then Peter came and said to Him, “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. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.…”
Photo Credit: fatherjulian.blogspot.com