There is a force that releases, that remits, that restores, that heals, that covers, and that definitely works. Forgiveness!!!How should we respond when someone dear to us unjustly offends us? What should our actions be when someone we have given our trust to abuses that trust? How do we react when someone we have given of ourselves to takes it for granted?
Forgiveness is a mighty “Kingdom Expanding Force”. Forgiveness was not established to impress God. He is God! ....and who are we to think we can impress Him in any way. Forgiveness was established to release the debtor as much as it was to release our own debts. And though its power can do both, we extend forgiveness for our own benefit, to guard our own hearts, and to set our own selves free.
The Power of Forgiveness!!! One who can truly forgive has the love of God shed abroad in their heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5) because forgiveness and love go hand in hand. Forgiveness covers as does love. And we know that love covers over all wrongs (Prov. 10:12). It covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8).
Forgive without seeking out revenge. Vengeance should never be sought! We are told, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19).
Consider how much strength Christ had to conjure up to utter the words that He uttered while hanging there on the cross after being brutally beaten. I cannot even imagine the strength it took to utter the words “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
God knew the force behind forgiveness that as an example, He Himself, extended forgiveness during His weakest moments. In me dwells no good thing (Rom. 7:18) and, therefore, in myself, there would be no way, that after being bruised, beaten, scorned, crushed, and mocked, that I would be able to conjure up the strength and love to say “Father, I extend forgiveness to them that you may forgive them,” but that is exactly what Christ did. We extend forgiveness through the Spirit of God, for it is a work of the Spirit.
We are told in scripture, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven" (Jn. 20:23). Wow….THAT IS POWERFUL and, yet, such a weighty matter! We hold the scepter of forgiveness in our hands…..or, should I say, in our hearts.
...and forgiving does not mean that we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of....our role is to obey the Word, and if we are [taken advantage of], scripture gives us our command: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Mt. 5:44); and I assure you, except the Spirit helps our infirmities, this command is an impossible thing.
You don’t extend forgiveness based on whether someone deserves it or not. If that were the case, we ourselves would not be forgiven. Forgiveness is a means to overcome evil. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
I’ve learned that taking matters into my own hands makes matters worse. We are to trust that God will deal with our “issues” even when we don’t realize they are being dealt with.
If we really want to live in the fullness of the “Fruit of the Spirit”, we will FORGIVE….seventy times seven, if need be.