Forgiving Others

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you."  Colossians 3:13

English preacher Joseph Parker, as a young man, used to debate in the mining fields of England, on the town green, with infidels and atheists.  An infidel once shouted at him, "What did Christ do for Stephen when he was stoned?"  Parker said the answer that was given him was like an inspiration from heaven.  "He gave him grace to pray for those who stoned him."  Stephen had the mind of Christ; and hearing him pray for those who did him wrong at once recalls the prayer of Jesus Himself, under like circumstances:  "Father, forgive them."

For most people, forgiveness does not come naturally.  We expect it from others, but are often slow to grant it to others.  Yet Jesus, and later His disciples, expected us to freely forgive those who have sinned against us.  We are to forgive one another as "God for Christ's sake has forgiven us."  Epesians 4:32

When we fail to forgive others, we must feel awkward asking it from God for ourselves.  Do you find it hard to forgive?  You're not alone.  But God never expected the Christian to live the Christian life in his or her own strength.  Ask God for the grace and power to do the right thing.  Here are three helps that might make it easier:

1)  Pray for the individual you have a difficult time forgiving.

2)  Ask that God will draw them closer to Him.

3)  Tell God in prayer that you have forgiven them.  Sometimes our heart will follow our actions; say the words, "I forgive them Lord," words that delight the heart of God.

When we begin to exercise forgiveness toward others, we begin to develop the "mind of Christ".  (I Corinthians 2:16)


Make Me A Blessing

Verse

Out in the highways and byways of life, many are weary and sad

Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife, making the sorrowing glad

Chorus

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing

Out of my life may Jesus shine

Make me a blessing, O Savior I pray

Make me a blessing to someone today

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