Monday, January 24, 2011

Swindoll on Forgiveness

I just read an incredible challenge from Chuck Swindoll that I pass on to you...

"Is there someone you need to forgive? Perhaps it’s a parent or a sibling or even a spouse. Maybe it's a relative or someone at your church. What keeps you from making things right?

Our culture offers endless excuses, but let’s face it--no excuse keeps you from the biblical obligation to forgive that person. No plea of victimization...Nothing!

We are called to a different standard...Jesus' standard. That’s why our forgiveness of others is inseparably linked with God’s forgiveness of us:

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32)

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors...For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:12, 14–15)

Are you unforgiving toward someone? If so, according to Jesus, you are out of fellowship with God. That is why Christ commands that you reconcile even before you come to church:

“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” (Matthew 5:23–25)

If someone asks you to forgive him, accept the confession. If that person has not asked for forgiveness, remember that God has commanded that you do so anyway.

Do whatever it takes to reconcile. Go to a counselor. Pray for strength to obey. Humble yourself. Don’t go to your grave with that grudge. For sure, don’t go to church with it."

My prayer today is...
"God, help me to move toward forgiveness quickly."