Day 09 “But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the...
“Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”
– Ephesians 4:31-32
Are you someone that tends to hold a grudge? Have you told someone that you forgive them for something, knowing in your heart you really haven’t? Has someone ever wronged you and you purposefully told them you would never forgive them for it?
In the moment, it may feel like that’s the best way to handle the situation, because now you’ve made them feel just as bad as you feel, but in reality, when you come to your senses later on, it helps nothing.
Ephesians 4:31 gives us a long list of things we should avoid in place of forgiveness. Bad temper, anger, arguing, gossip, ill-will of any kind should be avoided at all costs. You may think, “But that’s exactly how they treat me, and they deserve the same back.” Once you take part in the actions laid out in verse 31, it is like putting handcuffs on your own wrists. When the person who has wronged you has long moved on, unforgiveness will still have you bound all by yourself.
The good news is that verse 32 tells us the key to breaking through unforgiveness. We are called to be compassionate, understanding, and quick to forgive, just as Christ forgave us. Yes, this also means even if the person never apologizes or asks for forgiveness. We must consciously strive to forgive right away. Luke 17:4 says that if someone sins against you seven times in one day, you must forgive them seven times.
If there is anyone in your life that you are holding unforgiveness against, ask God to help you forgive them. No matter how difficult it may be, I guarantee you will see a difference in your life. Remember, forgiveness not only redeems the person that sinned against you, it releases you from captivity as well.
Stay Strong and Carry On,