Hi how are you all? I am well and enjoying the warmer weather. But my life is full on at the moment. My husband and I put a calendar of events on our fridge for November and December. We have hardly ever done that but this year it’s busy and that’s coming from a couple of empty nesters. How is your life at the moment?
Yesterday I was reading a passage in John 20 when I came across verses 22 and 23. It is from the Message Bible. It states:
Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
That last line really made me think. If I don’t forgive what am I going to do with someone else’s sins? What about – if I don’t forgive myself what am I going to do with my own sins.
I guess there is a couple of options. We can push them so far down in our soul until we bury them. The issue with that is do I want my own sins to keep popping up to remind me of the bad things I did and for other peoples sins, we can’t push them down inside us – it’s like impossible. Another option is carry them but that could get awfully heavy. We could hide them in a cupboard but when we opened it they would come out.
God did not create us to carry the heavy burden of sin either for our own sins or others. He created us to live free. Many of us think that forgiveness means weakness or that the other person will get away with something. But neither of those things is the case. Forgiveness is power – it is standing up and forgiving others of what they have done to us. It is taking back control of the situation and not allowing that person to dictate our thoughts or attitudes. When we don’t forgive, we literally carry that persons hurt and actions with us wherever we go.
I just want to reflect on Jesus for just a minute. In Matthew 6: 14 and 15, Jesus said if we forgive others we will be forgiven but if we don’t forgive we won’t be forgiven. Now those verses there are a great reason to forgive.
Let’s fast forward to the cross. Jesus was hanging on the cross and in that moment all of the sins that were past, present and future were put on Him. Isaiah 53:5 makes that clear. But what did Jesus say on the cross – Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Do you realise if Jesus hadn’t forgiven then neither could He have been forgiven? That’s what Matthew 6 says.
So if Jesus could forgive whilst He was on the cross burdened by sins that were not His own, then how much more does He expect that we will forgive.
Forgiveness is not weakness but power and in that moment on the cross, Jesus demonstrated that power of forgiveness most of all.
So this week, if you are holding unforgiveness in your heart, then just forgive. Is it easy? No but it is worth it. We need the peace in our lives that forgiveness brings but we also don’t want anyone other than God having power over us. Let me know how you go.
Bless you and keep living the life God intended for you.