Unforgiving Spirit

24 07 2007

Mankind is naturally inclined to sin. Because of this, we’re surrounded by opportunities to forgive others. Perhaps we’ve been unfairly criticized, disappointed by a broken promise, or harmed financially or physically. Whatever the case, the list of wrongdoing in this broken world can be very long.

Peter wondered how often we must pardon a wrong. He asked Jesus if we should forgive “up to seven times.” In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus replied, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to 70 times seven.” In other words, every single time.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean finding reasons to justify someone’s wrong behavior. It’s not about forgetting what happened or pretending it never occurred. That would amount to suppressing the pain and covering up the issue instead of working through it.

Genuine forgiveness requires deliberate action on our part. We acknowledge a wrong has been committed, but we also choose to release the offender from any obligation toward us. In essence, we say, “I will no longer hold this person’s unfair behavior against him.” We’re extending mercy, just as God did toward us.

We may think we’re punishing the wrongdoer. But we’re the ones hurt worst by our unforgiving attitude. Resentment is like sludge. It clogs the mind and heart. Untreated anger turns into bitterness. This hinders our relationships and keeps us from experiencing the Father’s love.

An unforgiving spirit is like poison in the soul. The only remedy is to forgive.

I usually skip through the content of these devotion newsletter but this one caught my eye. Unforgiving spirit….. after a couple of minutes of reflection and a trip to get my daily morning fix of coffee, i must admit, i have a problem in forgiving people, not as in forgive forgive but once that someone did something wrong, i will avoid developing a further relationship with that person and keeping it as purely acquaintances that will have almost nothing in common to talk to day to day basis. As i was pondering on this issue of forgiveness, it is to me, more than just releasing the person from the charge of guilt over a wrong thing.

The scripture states plainly, two attitudes that must precede from a forgiving heart – a heart that reflects God’s mercy and grace, this we have all been taught alot on the subject of forgiveness, but there is another step we all must need to do – reconciliation. Reconciliation involves more than just the first step of releasing someone from a charge of guilt, but extending and mending the relationship between the two parties. Just as Christ has reconcile us to God through His death, in our death to self, we reconcile to each other and to God. Reconciliation helps to destroy all bonds of hatred because you cannot truly reconcile unless you have love for the other person.

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One response

26 07 2007
joe

Mark11.26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your
trespasses.

1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

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