Read Colossians 3:12-14
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have
against another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
–Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
“Ill forgive you, but I’ll still hate your guts.” That’s what one church member told Aunt Susan when she apologized. She and the lady had a disagreement the week before. Being a sincere Christian, Aunt Susan went to her and apologized and that’s the answer she got.
We have to give the woman credit for being half honest. We often say we forgive someone because it’s the nice thing to do, or because we know we should as Christians. But, like the lady talking to Aunt Susan, we hold grudges. Holding grudges shows we have only fooled ourselves. If we say we have forgiven someone, but we still dislike (hate) them, we have not forgiven them.
Christians are to forgive as Christ forgave us. How was that? It was without our deserving it. It was completely. It was never to be remembered against us and it was through God’s grace alone. God’s people are “grace” people. Because we have been partakers of God’s grace, we can offer it to others.
It is important to forgive and forget past grievances. It is so important that God’s word tells us that we should take care of such matters before we worship (Matthew 5:23-24). You may ask how you can ever forgive someone for what they did to you. You begin by asking Jesus to help you, and you keep asking until He does. Try it. You will be amazed at how quickly Jesus can make your heart right and restore your relationship.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to be forgiving people. Amen
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO HOLD GRUDGES
—Robert G. Wilkerson, D.Min, author of Characters of the Crucifixion, http:www.drrobertgwilkerson.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org