My next series, “Why Forgiveness?, is a difficult topic for many, primarily because it’s a topic we don’t often understand. I will spend my next three posts shedding some light on this subject that cuts deep to our soul and well-being.
In the Lord’s Prayer, a model for praying given to the disciples by Jesus, we read,
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors… Matthew 6:12
This is a command to forgive those who have wronged us as we have been forgiven by God for our own transgressions. As we go further in that same chapter, we read,
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
Why does Jesus make such a definitive statement? The primary reason lies in the fact that for us to deny forgiveness to another is arrogance on our part. It’s as if we are denying that we too are sinners and in need of God’s forgiveness every bit as much as that other person. How much more when you withhold forgiveness from your spouse. God views forgiveness as a necessary element within our relationships.
We can all agree about the power anger can have over an individual. If left unchecked it resides in us like a cancer, and some in the medical professions believe it could even be a cause of cancer, but many other issues are related to unresolved anger.
We spend much of our time despising what someone has done to us. We spend much of the day looking for other things to add fuel to that fire in order to justify the pain caused by that anger. Anger takes a firm root and grows. It seeps into other areas of our lives as well, affecting our general disposition. We can become a bear to be around. You see, the problem is that anger envelops our heart and we become a bitter person. It is imperative to forgive because if not we become stuck and unable to move forward in our lives. Essentially we give control to the offending person for our behavior. Do you really want to give that much control to someone who has already hurt you so deeply? Certainly not!
Forgiveness is a way for you to acknowledge what has happened, relinquish the power of the anger and hurt, and move forward.
As you read through this brief post who came to your mind? Who do you need to forgive? More in my next post as we examine some of the misconceptions about forgiveness…
©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
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