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Forgiveness…

by Steve G on December 17th, 2008 in Men

I arrived early the other day for an appointment; they had a daily calendar sitting in the reception area, one with those wonderful little quotes.  It was open to April 18, 2008 obviously the wrong date but this is the quote;

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  Gandhi

Hmmm.  Is it hard for you to say “I’m sorry”?  Is there someone in your life who you need to speak these words too? 

It was interesting because after I read these words, I decided to write them in my Blackberry which I don’t usually do.

At lunch that day I was sitting with two Christian friends, one person says out of the blue “I have trouble with forgiveness in my life”.  I talked about the quote I had read just a few hours ago and they asked me who I needed to forgive and I gave them a name, a person who we will call Tim.

That night I went to my men’s Tuesday night Bible Study.  I was standing in the kitchen making coffee when a guy walks in and says “I hope I get the chance to talk about a problem I had this week with my wife, I need to work on forgiveness”.  Then he tells me he had talked to Tim today and that Tim had asked about me….Wow, sometimes God is so direct!!

But what do I do?  How do I forgive?  How do you truly let go of the anger?  I have prayed for people who I am angry with and it really does help.  I have apologized to people who I have wronged, including Tim, but what about those who have wronged you and seem not to care?  What about the anger and resentment about these people…you know the ones where you ask God “God, just let me be there on judgment day for that person!”  

A woman once told her Pastor that God spoke to her.  The Pastor was a little jaded and said “Really!  Well the next time you talk to Him ask Him what my last sin was”.  A couple weeks went by and the woman stopped in to tell the Pastor she had spoken to God again and had asked Him the question.  She said God answered “I do not remember”. 

Because of Jesus, God cannot remember your sin.  In so many of the comments posted here, it is so clear the hardest person for us to forgive is ourselves…I have been there too!   But God can’t remember your sins…Glory to God!   The Bible says “God surpasses all understanding”, which I find so true when I think of how he has forgiven me, even when I can’t seem to forgive myself.

But what about those we need to forgive, who comes to mind for you, who do you carry resentment against?  Do you know what resentment really is?  Resentment is like you taking poison and hope someone else dies!!  Think about it, when you carry around resentment who does it really hurt?  You!

David says in Psalms 73:21-22 “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.”

We become that “Brute Beast” when we carry resentment, and it does nothing good in our lives.

I had the ultimate in forgiveness this year in my life from a man who’s marriage I had responsibility in causing to break up , you can read about it in this post https://www.xxxchurch.com/men/amazingscaryweek.html.  Here is a man who had every reason not to forgive me, except for one…his belief in God and the command in the Bible to forgive.  But I had to go and ask, I had to humble myself and admit my sins against this man, it was hard and yet it gave me so much peace in my life.  I am so grateful for this gift of forgiveness from this great man of God; it serves as such an awesome example of how this man lives his life for God. 

What great examples do you have of someone who has forgiven you, please share them here and we can all celebrate God’s love.  Who do you need to forgive, who do you need to say you are sorry to?  Don’t let any more time pass, use this season, this New Year to let go of resentment and anger, do not wait any longer

God bless you all and thank you for such a wonderful year of sharing on the blog.

Steve G

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