Love Your Neighbor – March

Forgiveness

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
– 
Mark 11:25 – Zondervan NIV Study Bible

Have you ever heard someone say, “I may forgive someone who has wronged me, but I will NOT forget?” Uh, oh! This may mean that deep down, you want that person to receive severe judgment rather than forgiveness. I dare say, this is NOT the true meaning of forgiveness. It is very common to want revenge when we have experienced a deep hurt. Let’s face it, oftentimes, hurts run deep and last for long periods of time – sometimes until the day we leave this earth.

When we hang on to hurts our natural man speaks louder than the path of forgiveness. Why? We can’t change the past, so hanging on to the hurts, we somehow justify our anger, vengeance, hostility, resentment, and sadness. This is counterproductive to healing. The Bible teaches us that forgiveness toward those who have hurt us makes us stronger and a better witness to the world around us. Holding onto hurt gives someone else authority over your mind and heart.

Give yourself permission to hurt, but don’t stay there! Why not change your approach to it this way:

“The key to forgiving others is to stop focusing on what they did to you and start focusing on what God did for you.” – Max Lucado

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