Tuesday, May 5, 2015
It's never too late to forgive. Of late, when I receive my morning newspaper, I've noticed that it has a sticky ad on it. The first time I saw this I thought, "Why would anyone do this?" The sticky ad was a nuisance as I couldn't read the newspaper. As I pulled the sticky ad off, I expected it to rip and damage the newspaper. Instead there was no damage - the paper didn't rip and the ink didn't smear. As I pulled it off, it reminded me of God's forgiveness. Forgiveness is like removing that sticky ad and being brand new, pure, and clean. The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt; in essence, to remove the sticky ad!
You're brand new when God forgives you and when you forgive others you become brand new also. You let go of the hurts, anger and resentment. You choose to wipe the slate clean and start over. You are emulating the forgiveness that God extends to you.
We know what an unforgiving spirit does - it breeds resentment, anger, and bitterness in the person that was wronged. Forgiveness is required in all of our relationships - with our spouses, our children, our coworkers. I've been married for a long time and I've learned that I can't change anyone (this applies to spouses and children); so when I feel wronged I can choose to forgive or I can choose to carry a grudge.
God is working on me, because I'm finding it’s much easier to forgive than carry a grudge. The person may still be who they are, but I no longer have animosity toward them. This all seems so hard, but it’s doable simply because God chose to do this for me, so I know with His strength I can forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us to be kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
The next time you remove that sticky ad from the newspaper, ask God to give you the strength to forgive the person that's hurting you.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3: 13 [NLT]
Are you struggling with forgiveness today? Are you learning to forgive others?