How willing are you to forgive someone a wrong? How anxious are you to forgive and go on with life? You might think anxious a strange word to use for forgiving, but if you know what is at stake based on your forgiveness, you may just become a little more anxious to forgive. God tells us that He can not forgive us if we hold any trespasses against fellow brothers. The word tells us that in order for our prayers to be heard, we have to have no unforgiveness in our hearts. If we go back all the way to Genesis, we will see a lesson in forgiveness.
Mark 11 v 25-26....And whenever you stand praying, "if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses".....
In Gen.37 we read where Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Then he was wrongly accused and placed in a prison for years. But God still had His hand in Joseph's life. He delivered him out of prison, and caused him to find favor with the Pharoah and was placed above all of Egypt, second only to Pharoah himself. Then when the famine came on the land, his brothers came to buy food, and who did they have to go to? Joseph! Only they did not know it was their brother Joseph, they thought him long dead and gone.
Through all of that and still Joseph forgave them and welcomed them back into his household. Now how many of you could welcome back the very ones who caused you to be put in prison, and live like a slave, and take you away from the father that you love? But Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and wept over them, and told them not to blame themselves, but that it was GOD's plan all along for him to come to Egypt.
Gen. 45 v 5....But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for GOD sent me before you to preserve life.......
Now I don't know if I could be so forgiving to those who clearly hated me, and sold me into slavery, or worse, had at first contemplated killing me! But, then I have to look at the bigger picture, and know that I am in need of God's forgiveness as well, for there are many times that I have failed Him. There are many times that I have not walked in love toward someone, or held some sort of grudge against another. But now when we know the word then we have no excuse. We have to forgive.
Unforgiveness causes stress in your life, and this in turn causes many types of illnesses, diseases, and heartaches along the way. To be completely healthy, physically and spiritually we must learn to forgive and let go. That means we do not bring it up every chance we get. That is not forgiveness, that is obsession. Why would we want to give a circumstance in our past that much power over our future?
Make a decision today to walk in forgiveness toward everyone and to love everyone with the love of Christ that is in you. See how much better you will feel in 2009 and how much healthier your mind, body, and soul will be. AMEN!