FIGHTING TO FORGIVE

By Chilly Chilton

Why do we fight so much harder to keep a grudge than we fight to forgive?

Jesus tells us to be like Him in one of the most difficult areas of all: dealing w/ our enemies. Ahhh, THE HATERS: those back-stabbin', hurtful, gossiping, self-righteous, prideful, hypocritical, lying, vicious punks!

Uh-oh... that might have felt TOO good!

Seriously, though, it's really hard to have the maturity needed to love (or even like) the people who seem to detest us. Yet, it's vital to our growth & character.

Check this out:

"You have heard the law that says, `Love your neighbors and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.  (Matthew 5:43-48)

So if we want to be like Jesus -- and we do, right? -- then we have to love the haters! When it seems impossible, remember that He loves YOU, and you're not ALWAYS that easy to love (me either).  As hard as it seems, you've got to fight to love AND forgive!

Ahh, but you reply, "( ________ ) hurt me and I'm not sure that I can forgive..."

No, it's not easy, but you FIGHT!  Never forget that Christ was hurt by his family, his friends, his church, his people, his government ... you name it (including you). And He fought to perfectly forgive and love His enemies & haters! So fight to become like Jesus:

  1. Got any enemies out there??
  2. Do you pray for them more than you talk about them?
  3. How can you serve them?
  4. Now here's a big one: Are you an enemy to someone else? What are you doing about it?
  5. Do you fight harder to keep a grudge than you fight to forgive?
  6. WHAT MUST CHANGE IN YOU TODAY?

"Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's BE "People OThe Second Chance" (and third chance, and fourth chance, and...). We all need mercy, grace, love & forgiveness -- fight to GIVE those things to others and you'll begin to experience joy & peace like never before!

 

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