I normally do not blog two days in a row; but when I read this mornings devotions I had to share this.
"Forgiveness runs counter to human nature. When we have been hurt, we want others to feel the hurt that has stung us. But if we are intent to love as Jesus loved, than we must embrace and practice the loving act of forgiveness. Jesus' death made possible our forgiveness and reconciliation. 'In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace' (Eph 1:7). Since the Lord extended His grace and forgiveness to us, so must we give grace and forgiveness to others-it pardons, bears no grudge, covers a multitude of sins, does not take into account a wrong suffered. Forgiveness is rarely easy, but it is always RIGHT." ~ Cynthia Heald, Becoming A Woman Who Loves
This small paragraph packs a punch. I have to say that I am just beginning to see the depth of what Christ wants from our lives. So often we remain in such a shallow place, spiritually. Living as partially surrendered. But what value is that? If my husband was partially committed to our marriage, would that be enough for me? NO! So how can I think that God is content with fragments of my life, my time, my resources? Forgiveness is often a great measuring tool, for us to gauge where we really are at spiritually. If I am unwilling to forgive a wrong committed against me; I am far from being wholly surrendered to God. Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins."
Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It would be foolish to walk through life's trials, and not use them as teaching tools. What you have worked through in your life is a part of your testimony. I believe this is the best gauge to use, in order to figure out if you have forgiven in the depths of your heart and soul: when I think about the person who has wronged me, do I get worked up all over again, does anger rise up? If the answer is yes, than true forgiveness has not been granted to the offender. It means you still have to work with Jesus through the issue. You probably need to begin praying blessings into that person's life. You need to ask God to help you love that person the way He does. I am not sharing anything with you that God does not require from my own life. It's not always easy, but it is right. And it will literally set you free; and take you deeper with God. It is a win~win.
Love and Forgiveness work in tandem. You can not separate the two.
Life is beautiful!