Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I heard a great message this past Sunday on forgiveness and it reminded me of this poem.  I realize it is part of our human nature to harbor hurts and hold grudges.  But the thing is, if you are going to truly live the Christian life, our human nature is the thing we should trust the least.  I have been on both sides of the equation and I can tell you from experience that there is a freedom of spirit that is a natural byproduct on both sides, whether you are the forgiver or the forgiven.  The key, at least for me, to be able to make forgiving an immediate response, is to keep in mind all that Jesus suffered in order to offer me....


   Forgiveness is a choice we make
        A decision to release
        The hurts and disappointments
        And lay them at Jesus feet
        We have no right to hold them
        Or the bitterness they breed
        After all that Christ has done for us
        It’s His mercy that we need
        To show to those around us
        No matter what they’ve done
        A tender and a loving heart
        As seen in God the Son
        Father, help me to remember
        All you’ve done for me
        Forgiving my transgressions
        Please help me to clearly see
        With all that my soul owes
        The least that I can do
        Is to be kind, forgiving others
        And in me let them see You

Eph. 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

How often do we allow our pride to convince us that we are entitled to our hurts and bitternesses over something someone else has done?  Yet if we will only take a moment and honestly reflect on all that God has forgiven us of, including every wrong thought or motive and every hurtful word or wicked deed, then I believe it becomes much easier for us to forgive others and to release the bitterness that will only harm ourselves.