Sunday, November 1, 2009

How do I forgive?

This is a post copied from the Christian Living site.

How Do I Forgive ?

American Idol contestant, Mandisa forgave Simon Cowel for his unkind jokes and gave an awesome testimony to her Christian belief. Can you forgive someone who has hurt or humiliated you?

1. The dictionary says that to forgive means:to grant free pardon for an offense or debt.
2. to give up all claim on account of
3. to cease to feel resentment against.

When I have been deeply hurt, how do I give up my claim to revenge? How do I grant free pardon to that person so that they have nothing to repay? How do I cease to feel resentment? - Not just put it out of my mind, but have clear or even loving feelings toward them.

As I see it, the only way to realize that kind of attitude is to find the special relationship with Jesus Christ, who offers forgiveness and unconditional love in spite of my many affronts toward God. I remember how much I have been forgiven. I know that whatever I have done in the past, I have a glorious future with God. This future is a gift from Him, not something that I have had to fight for or strive for. Nothing that happens to me in this life can take that future away.

Recognize that God created us all. Reading the Bible, I began to understand that as long as we are in this life, we always have our own selfish nature whispering in our ear. We will all face temptations to be selfish, to self-promote, and to hurt others in order to better ourselves. I have learned that the other person is not the enemy. They are subject to the same struggles in life that I am.

Feel sadness for them. The only difference between us may be that I have been blessed with knowing God’s love and mercy and they have not.

Ask God to let me see them through His eyes.

Pray for them. I pray that they will begin to know Christ and the forgiveness that He brings and that through that they will begin to feel love and kindness toward others.

Forgiving is not easy, but we have the perfect role model in Jesus.

* Romans 12:17-18 tells us not to seek revenge, to do what is right and to live at peace as far as it is possible
* Ephesians 4:32 tells us to forgive each other as quickly as God forgave us.
* John 18:15-18, 25-27, and 21:15-19 Jesus forgave Peter, even after he denied knowing Jesus three times.
* Luke 23:34 Jesus didn’t need someone to ask for forgiveness before He forgave. While He was on the cross, He forgave those who crucified Him.

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