by Jim Hughes
Matt. 6:14-15 ““If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But, if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
This is a truth that we often do not think about. All of us have been wronged by someone at sometime in our lives. Whether it’s a family member, a trusted friend, a mentor, a teacher, a co-worker, or anyone else, we have been hurt by others. Some people are cruel by nature and have no regard for how they might hurt another. Some people hurt others and don’t even know that they did it. Regardless of how we have been hurt, Jesus says we must forgive them in our hearts.
How do we forgive people when they have hurt us, sometimes very badly? First of all, we must seek the Lord’s forgiveness for how we have hurt Him. Every time we sin against God, we hurt Him. Sin is an affront to God’s character. It offends Him. It is saying we don’t care that it bothers God. It is defiance. So, we must first deal with how we have hurt God and seek His forgiveness. We must admit that we are guilty and are helpless to get rid of our sin without God’s help.
God’s willingness to forgive us is tied into our willingness to forgive others. It is so because a heart that is not humble and merciful enough to forgive doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. If we aren’t willing to extend love and grace to others we can’t expect God to extend His love and grace to us. Whether or not forgiveness is asked for, we must forgive those who have wronged us.
Another aspect of forgiving others is forgiving ourselves. Sometimes this is the hardest part, but if we want to really know the peace of God that comes from forgiveness, we must be willing to forgive ourselves for the wrongs we have done. We need to let go of whatever pain and harm we have caused and let the Lord lead us forward. We will never be free in our souls until we ask the Lord to help us forgive ourselves and leave those things under the blood as well.
About the Author:
Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.
C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.
I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.
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