One of the hardest things in the world for most humans to do is to forgive others who hurt us or who hurt those we love.
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Now, for those of us who profess to worship God and claim to be a member of the body of the Messiah, Yeshua, well…we aren’t supposed to just forgive others: nope, we have to go one step further and be willing to forgive.
And I don’t mean forgive those we love because anyone can do that. That’s not enough! We have to be more than forgiving of those who hurt us on purpose, we have to be willing to forgive them! Yes, even the ones we can’t even stand to be near.
So, nu? In the real world, how can I be expected to want to forgive someone who is a mean, nasty, hurtful, poor excuse for a human being?
It ain’t easy, no doubt about that, but it is possible.
One way is to forget about what they did to us, just for a moment, and place ourselves in their shoes standing before the Throne of Judgment and trying to explain to the Lord, God almighty that even though we did all those nasty things to all those nice people, we still want to be in heaven.
Got the picture?
If you do this for real, I have to think that you are feeling, maybe, just a little sorry for that schmo, knowing what the outcome will most likely be.
Another way to make it easier to forgive someone is to realize that when someone is that hurtful to others, they must be hurting even more inside. I don’t believe that anyone who is really a godly person won’t feel pity for those who are in pain, especially the ones in emotional pain who are spiritually empty.
Another way to be willing to forgive (which makes it MUCH easier to do) is to pray for that person. I’m not saying to pray for the other one’s destruction. Nah- that’s not helping us to forgive anyone (although it can make you feel better).
What I am saying is to pray for their deliverance; imagine how horrible their life must be for them to be that horrible to others. I truly believe that a hurtful and nasty person does so to reduce the pain they are feeling by making others feel worse. When you pray for them to be saved, to have God cure their pain, you will feel better because you are showing the kind of love that Yeshua showed for us.
And when we love others, we always feel better ourselves.
One last reason to be willing to forgive which is, honestly, the least godly reason, is for self-protection.
In Matthew 6:14, right after Yeshua has told us how to pray, he gives us this warning (CJB):
For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.
I’ll bet right now some of you are thinking because you’ve accepted Yeshua as your messiah and ask forgiveness in his name, you will be forgiven, right? And that this warning came before he was resurrected, so doesn’t mean anything now that he is at the right hand of God and our Intercessor. Again, am I right?
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I don’t think so.
I think that if we are not going to forgive offences against us, believer or not, worshipful or not, going to synagogue/church every Sabbath or not, it won’t matter- Yeshua said if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven.
That seems pretty final to me.
Now you have four different ways to help you forgive others, and I am certain that when you practice these things, you will find yourself not only being able to forgive those you have had a hard time forgiving, but at some point, you will even be willing to forgive. And when you forgive those that have hurt you, do you know what happens?
The pain goes away.
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That’s it for this week, so let me wish all my Jewish friends a Happy Shavuot, and to all my Christian friends a joyous Pentecost.