Forgiveness: Do I have to?

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“But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.” Luke 23:34.

The life of Jesus: What love and forgiveness!  I’m amazed how He chose to forgive even when He knew all along He would have to suffer and die. He knew at the Lord’s Supper as he comforted his disciples that Judas would betray Him and Peter would even deny knowing Him. But yet, He still forgave.

“If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 5:7.

None of us have ever suffered or been betrayed like Jesus.  Through it all, He chose to forgive. How silly of us to get so upset at those who say an unkind word about us, or one of our family members. We can get so “worked up” and angry, wanting to retaliate and get even. We should stop, look in the mirror and question ourselves, “Is it really worth it?” “Does this situation even compare to what Jesus experienced?” “He chose to forgive, shouldn’t I?”

Forgiveness calms our emotions and heart allowing us to move forward with our lives. Forgiveness breaks the chains that try to bind and hold us in the “unforgiveness prison.”  Friends, wherever we go and whatever we do, we will always experience some verbal attacks and personality clashes, only because people think differently than we do. We must recognize that Satan, the enemy, enjoys getting us upset over what someone said or did against us. Strife fights against unity.

Today, let’s choose to be like Jesus and rise above the verbal and emotional attacks, choosing to walk in forgiveness and love.  Choosing to forgive makes us stronger, not weaker. We don’t have to forget, or become a doormat of abuse. But we can choose to forgive and move forward with our lives in freedom.

When we choose to make forgiveness a lifestyle, we will experience more joy in our daily lives and sleep better at night. We will be able to get along with co-workers, family members and friends much better. Peace will reign in our lives and will be a testimony to others of God’s love and forgiveness.

“But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do ‘good’ to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  Luke 6: 27-28.

Forgiveness — it’s a lifestyle of LOVE (God). If you are going to have a successful, intimate, relationship with Jesus, you must CHOOSE to forgive and let the hurts go. Remember, staying mad at someone with an attitude of unforgiveness, keeps your attention and focus on yourself and your problems, and not on Jesus.  I encourage you to “Let it Go” and forgive.

It all begins with prayer. Because PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Choose to forgive! Choose to be free!