A Forgiving Heart
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.Colossians 3:13
How can we forgive if someone in our family is killed by a careless driver or by an angry person on a shooting spree? I think all of us have been hurt by other people sometime in our life and experienced the feeling for revenge. God tells us to be forgiving and to leave revenge in his hands. Can we do this in our own strength?
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:13-14) This verse reveals the importance of forgiveness in the heart of God, and this verse can be frightening. We may say, “But Lord my heart cannot forgive,” and it’s true, our heart cannot forgive, but God’s heart can forgive.
The strength to have a forgiving heart comes from God through his love. There is nothing more powerful in all creation than God’s love. This agape, unconditional love gives us the power to be secure and forgiving. We are sustained in God’s perfect love and the power to overcome the world. We see Satan behind the sinful behavior of people, and we pray for these people because their eternal life could easily be lost if they refuse to accept Christ. This love from God changes our heart to the heart of Christ, a forgiving heart.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). Nothing will hold us in the yoke of slavery more than having an unforgiving heart. The center of God’s love is forgiveness, sacrificing his Son for our sins and he expects our heart to be filled with his love, a forgiving love. When we are unforgiving we are sharing the throne with God, and when we step off the throne through forgiveness, we are turning the person over to God.
Unforgiveness is toxic to our health, because God created us in his image, and nothing deviates from that image more than unforgiveness. It can harm our body and soul through toxic thoughts. Choose to forgive and experience the freedom in Christ, and feel better mentally which promotes good health.
Today walk with a forgiving heart. When you see the attitudes that reveal a lost soul, see Satan’s lies at work, a pray for that person, that their heart may see the truth. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10: 3-4) Realize Satan is behind the evil in this world, and through Christ fight Satan in people’s lives. This will drive you to have a forgiving heart.
Prayer: Lord, give me a forgiving heart, a heart that fights Satan through the power of Christ. Keep me from fighting people but fight Satan in their lives. Guide me to victory as Christ leads me to fight this spiritual war. Help me to know that Christ has already won th