The Abandoned Life II - Embracing Forgiveness
As we continue to learn about abandoning our lives to God, we come to realize that there are certain things we will have to abandon in our pursuit of Him. Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we must “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” One of the most entangling sins I know of is unforgiveness. It can literally grab hold of a heart and wrap it up tight with bitterness and resentment. Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” God’s Word is clear that to forgive is to walk in obedience to Him and to harbor unforgiveness is to walk in disobedience to Him. If we are to reach our goal of 100% surrender to Christ, we must choose to obey His Word in all areas. While it seems almost impossible at times to forgive others for cruel and careless behavior, forgiveness is always God’s perfect plan for us. Choosing to forgive is the only way to free ourselves from bitterness, resentment, and hatred. Christ gave us the ultimate example when he asked the Lord to forgive those who crucified Him, for “they know not what they do.” How can we do any less? No matter how deeply we have been hurt, we must choose forgiveness. Choosing to forgive does not absolve another for their wrongdoing, not at all; however, it does allow me to leave the consequences with the Lord. I no longer have to be judge and jury in another’s life because I am free to let God do His work in the situation. If the body of Christ is ever going to reach its maximum potential, we must begin to let go of old (or new) grievances and begin to reach out to each other with love and forgiveness. Remember we don’t forgive for the sake of someone else, we forgive for the sake of Christ. When we come to the place where we are truly willing to let Him forgive others through us, then we are moving in the right direction on this path to living an abandoned life.