Sunday, July 6, 2014

Learning To Forgive.

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This article is dedicated to the people who harbor resentment toward other people.  I understand that you are not always going to like everyone, but despite what they did you....eventfully you are going to have to forgive.

An interesting but true comment about forgiveness is that the people you do not like either do not know or they do not care, perhaps even a combination of both.  Therefore, the only real person you are hurting by not forgiving and holding resentment in your heart, is yourself.

A few months back I was speaking to a female friend of mine.  She told me that even though she and her husband had been divorce for over 10 years, she still could not find it in her heart to forgive him.  She told me, that every-time he came around for the kids she would make a conscious effort to ignore him to show him that she is still hurt.

I kindly tried to explain to her that this man does not care about how she feels.  After all he was remarried and had a new life, why would he care about what she thought about him?  She was convinced he would somehow think about her and that it was bothering him that she did not like him.

I wanted to paint this picture of how crazy this situation really looks.  Here she was going out of her way to show her disliked toward him, and he was getting on with his life not caring about what she thought.

The only person that unforgiveness hurts is the un-forgiver.  When we cannot forgive someone, it consumes our thoughts, our minds, and sometimes we will go crazy and go our of our way to show them how much we do not like them, when they could really care less.

I will take myself as an example.  For anyone who does not like me.  I have a public service announcement to make. I do not care.  As a matter of fact, the more you do not like me, the more it makes me want to succeed just so I can rub it in your face (see my blog here).  For people like me, I actually thrive on the fact that you do not like me, just so I can show you how little your opinion means to me.

This is not to say that I go around trying to harm people in some way because I don’t.  People can get offended for every little reason imaginable, and can be refusing to forgive you for something that you do not even know you did.

And to be realistic, how many people are you refusing to forgive just because you some how feel they have done something to you, even if they haven’t really.  It sounds silly doesn’t it?

The Bible teaches us in Matthew 6:14-15

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

If you cannot forgive others then how can you expect God to forgive you.  After all, we all do wrong, we all fall short, and we are all in need of forgiveness.

This is really something that bothers me about Christian people.  For those who are not Christian, I guess it is expected.  But for those who are Christian there is really no excuse.  Is our whole religion not based off the fact that Jesus died for our sins, so that we can be forgiven?  So why on Earth, Christians feel they are exempt from this fundamental belief.

In closing forgive.  Forgive the person who talked about you, who hurt you, who you been victimized by, and those who you think have harmed you but they really haven’t.  Once you have conquered this skill, you will be amazed and much of the worldly things will not get to you.
Matthew 5:46-47 states  “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

As Christians you should be set apart.  When people see you they should see God.  If you are an unforgiving person this is not going to make anyone want to turn to Christ.  They will wonder how on Earth can they have peace with Christianity if you don’t have peace?  How can you set yourself apart as a Christian, if you act like the rest of the world?  For we are called to be in the world not of it.  So set yourself apart.  Forgive and do not hold grudges and I promise inner peace will follow.

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