I recently went through the process of forgiving someone who had wronged me. I was not especially eager or excited to go through this process. I had a list of wrongs that a part of me wanted to hold onto, but I knew that I had to forgive if I wanted to walk in obedience to God.
Mark 11:25 says, “When you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything in your heart against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven will forgive you your trespasses.”
I also think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:43-47:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
It’s easy to love the likable. It’s easy to love those who love and care for you. But Jesus asks us to love our enemies. He asks us to love even those who hurt us. Praise be to God for giving us His grace and His agape love which enables us to love and forgive!
Forgiveness is powerful. It frees us. When we forgive those who have sinned against us, we realize the goodness of God’s forgiveness in our own lives.
God loves us though daily we sin against Him. If God loves us and has forgiven us, we must love and forgive each other. Forgiveness is necessary if we are to walk in love. I encourage you to get counsel from a trusted pastor or leader if you are struggling with how to forgive and what forgiveness looks like.
Father, thank you for helping me to love not only the likable, but also those who are unkind and without love. Thank you for freeing me from that record of wrongs I am tempted to hold onto. As you have forgiven me, help me to forgive others. Help me to walk in the gifts of your Spirit, the fruit of your Spirit, but most of all, in your perfect agape love. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
YOU ARE LOVED!
Author: Melissa Holmlund