Dare 2B Daring - June 21, 2018
A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.
(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)
"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." – Mark Twain
I’ve heard it said, you’ve heard it said… and it’s 100% true. When we refuse to forgive someone for something they did to us, they aren’t the ones that suffer. WE ARE!
Trapped in the prison cell of unforgiveness, we revisit the same hurt over and over again, endlessly replaying it in our minds until we know every chapter and verse by heart. And speaking of our heart, it becomes cold and hard as we allow unforgiveness – and the bitterness it breeds – to infest our innermost being until it saps our strength and maims our spirit.
I recently had to learn (or relearn) this lesson yet again. Some people who had deeply hurt me years ago refused to apologize for doing so. Instead, they simply wanted to move on as if the offense never happened.
My initial reaction was to forgive them, but I still harbored ill feelings… which, obviously, isn’t forgiveness at all. And so, following the advice of one of my spiritual mentors, I offered them my sincere forgiveness without preconditions – such as them apologizing – and I meant it!
So, what was the result?
In the words of the old Negro spiritual, quoted so eloquently by Dr. King in his memorable speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last!”
How about you, my friend? Has Satan wormed his way into your soul, convincing you that you have every right to be perpetually angry at someone for the way they treated you? If so, remember that Jesus called him the “father of lies” in John 8:44. Remember, too, that Jesus not only taught us to forgive (Matthew 6:12), but He also said that the Father’s forgiveness of us would be predicated on our forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15).
Ouch! Why did I wait so long?
Do me a favor and, as soon as you’re done this devotional, go read Matthew 18:21-35. Then write down a list of people who have hurt you, but whom you have yet to forgive. And yes, then forgive them… and try to mean it, too!
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Colossians 3:12-13 (NKJV)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President