“Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
Satan loves certain environments, and will not stop until he creates it. He thrives on discord, factions, and strife. One of the most effective means to achieve it, is to promote an unforgiving spirit.
At the heart of God’s attitude towards us is forgiveness. He has forgiven much so that we might enjoy eternal fellowship with Him. Because He has forgiven much, we should love Him much (Luke 7:47). But how can we love God, and not offer the same forgiveness to others that God grants to us?
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Wherever a lack of forgiveness reigns, Satan is not far behind. He has destroyed families and churches by simply stoking a spirit of resentment and animosity. But Paul writes that true love does not hold resentments (1 Corinthians 13:5). In fact, as the passage from 2 Corinthians states above, Satan achieves a great advantage when people fail to forgive one another. He loves to operate in an atmosphere of resentment and grudge holding.
Have you allowed resentment to creep in based on real or perceived injuries inflicted on you by someone? Do you avoid them in order to not face the bitterness growing in your heart? Then free both yourself and the person you strive with. How? Forgive them from your heart. Tomorrow we will develop this theme by addressing the difference between forgiving someone and holding them accountable. Still, God requires us to forgive freely from the heart. How else can He forgive us?
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25).
Depending on the degree of injury we received from someone, forgiving them can be a big step. When we feel reluctant to do so, ponder the deep and profound love of God and His complete forgiveness of all our sins. To the degree we ponder and appreciate God’s forgiveness of us, we can freely forgive others for what they’ve done to us.
Posted on Wed, July 6, 2016
by Sam Petitfils