Today's Devotional Thought
February 24, 2011 by Wendy Foreman
I recently read a book called Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury. The book is amazing and I highly recommend it. The book deals with forgiveness and for days after I read it, I couldn’t stop thinking about forgiveness and unforgiveness and how they affect our lives.
I thought about how the Lord tells us that we must forgive just as he forgave us. The Lord told Peter in Matthew 18 that we as believers must forgive seventy times seven. But friends, even though the Lord tells us that, it doesn’t come easy to any of us. When we have been hurt, especially by those we love and trust, it is very hard to move past it and forgive. The truth is we aren’t able to forgive in our own strength. It is through obedience to the Lord that we can.
I have learned that when we harbor angry bitter feelings towards someone and refuse to offer forgiveness that it affects us more then it will affect the person who offended us. I promise that if you are refusing to forgive someone that it has become your focus. Somehow it makes its way into your life everyday. You could be driving along and you see something or hear something on the radio that reminds you of that person and boom you are thinking about it. It doesn’t matter what you do throughout your day it tends to make its way into your thoughts.
So let me ask you a question. If you are harboring unforgiveness in your heart do you think that the Lord can use you to your full potential? Do you think that you can truly minister to those around you? It seems to me if we are harboring these feelings and then trying to minister to others we are truly being hypocrites. How can you tell someone they need to forgive but you yourself haven’t been able to?
Forgiveness is a slow process. It is not something that is always immediate. The Lord has to work in us to help us move towards forgiveness. I think what all of us needs to really focus on is that Jesus himself came to die for all of our sins. He forgave us and loved us in spite of all of the ways we hurt him and betrayed him. He is our model when it comes to forgiveness.
Who do you need to forgive today? Or perhaps you are the one that has wronged someone. Maybe you need to go to someone today and ask for their forgiveness. Make things right today between you and the one that has wronged you or the one whom you’ve wronged. God is ready and willing to help you move towards forgiveness so that He can be honored and glorified through your obedience.