A Heart That Forgives

forgive-meFor if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if  ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15). If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7). Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (Colossians 3:13). Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven (Luke 6:37). And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4).

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”

Three little words, yet so difficult to utter: I forgive you. It can be an arduous task, for many. When one is forgiven, they have been released from guilt; they have been exonerated, excused, or acquitted. The words, “I forgive you”, if not spoken from the heart, are empty and meaningless. However, when said from a place of the heart, there is a powerful exchange between the individuals involved. Those are the benefits received by those who have been forgiven. However, there are many benefits received by the individuals who forgive. The chain that binds is broken, and the captive has been set free. It is an onerous task to hold unforgiveness in one’s heart. It is as if one is carrying a heavy weight, or yoke of bondage around one’s neck. If we confess our sins to the Lord, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we can be afforded the opportunity to be forgiven, we must also be willing to forgive others their trespasses. It is a mandate from the Lord that we forgive others, otherwise we will not be forgiven our trespasses. Peter, a leader of the disciples, and the most loquacious and boisterous of the 12, asked of the Lord, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22) Peter was probably surprised by the answer he received from Jesus. The enlightenment that Peter received from the Lord that day, which is true for us today,  was no matter how many times we have been offended by our brethren, we must forgive them, that our sins be forgiven us. Sometimes it’s difficult to forgive, when one has been offended. However, when I look back over my life, I certainly cannot begin to comprehend, the measure of forgiveness, as well as the numerous times, that God has forgiven me. Oh,  if not for the grace of God, where would I be? Extending forgiveness, brings one back into a right relationship with the Lord. It is pleasing unto God, when we forgive others their trespasses against us. After all, “Jesus, who knew no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled  not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (I Peter 2:22-23)  Jesus needed no forgiveness, yet He suffered vicariously upon Calvary’s  Cross, that our sins might be forgiven, and that we might receive salvation through the shedding of  His precious blood! When placed in that perspective, forgiving others their trespasses, should become a bit easier, I would think. Forgive, that ye be forgiven. Are you willing to forgive? Reaching a place of forgiveness will take us down a path which is paved with deep hurt, emotional anguish, and shattered hearts. Only Almighty God is able to deliver us from the bondage and burden of unforgiveness, when we place it in His most capable hands!

To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.”

Lord, I thank you for loving us enough to forgive us, over and over again, when we have sinned against you, and only you! Thank you for forgiving us, for the sin of offense. Thank you, for suffering in our places, that we might have a right unto the tree of life! Thank you so much, for completing the work of salvation, though the cup was bitter! Help us God, to have a heart of forgiveness, when others have offended us! Help us, to follow your example of forgiveness. Help us to pray for those that have despitefully used, and trespassed against us, and please forgive them Lord, as well. Only you can forgive us our sins, and for that I am so grateful, and I give you thanks! Jesus, this I pray in your precious name, amen! Praise God! Enjoy the song, “A Heart That Forgives.” It’s the most beautiful song about forgiveness I’ve ever heard! You will truly be blessed! Feel free to share your thoughts! May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!


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23 comments on “A Heart That Forgives

  1. Hi Paulette.
    Forgiveness. Firstly I think back to the first time I was aware of the impact of being forgiven. As a Roman Catholic, we were forgiven after confession, but we had to do penance and we knew that forgiveness was not complete even after penance: but that there would be time spent in purgatory after we died.
    When we went to confession we had to confess at least one mortal sin. (yes, sins were tagged as mortal or venial). If we had no mortal sin to confess, we had to confess one from the past.

    Oh the ABSOLUTE JOY to discover, as a child of God, that if I confessed a previously confessed sin to God, He would say to me, “You are mistaken my child. I have NO RECORD of that sin!”

    What a Saviour! FORGIVEN! My sins are as far as the east is from the west. They are GONE – forever GONE!

    Can I do less? Can I harbour a grudge against someone who has offended me? Their offence would be as a drop in the ocean compared with my offences against God.

    Forgiveness received is a great blessing.
    Forgiveness given is also a great blessing and a great release.

    • Hi Angela,

      I enjoyed reading your comment. You brought up some very interesting points. Yes, it is wonderful to know that when God has forgiven us of our trespasses, He casts them into the depths of the sea, to be remembered no more. Yes, what a Savior! He has left us an example, in which to follow, when struggling with forgiveness. If we do not know how to forgive others their trespasses, God will not forgive us our trespasses, thus creating a breach between our souls and our Savior! When we learn how to forgive others, we are able to enjoy a right relationship with the Lord! Praise God!

      “Forgiveness received is a great blessing. Forgiveness given is also a great blessing and a great release.” Thanks again, for sharing. God bless.

      Paulette

  2. Paulette,

    Would you agree that apart from Christ we don’t have the power to truly forgive, to absolve that person of all guilt?

    I believe that one of the main reasons many of us don’t truly forgive others is for the pain involved. Anyone, as you said, can say the empty words “I forgive you”, but truly forgiving someone requires working through the situation with the vulnerable part of our self – the part that our resentment toward that other person is “protecting”. The process of forgiveness requires revisiting the pain of deception, betrayal, or assault. Not one of us wants to do this because it makes us feel the original pain, bitterness, and anger all over again, and again, and again, until we completely work it through.

    It doesn’t take much of a mind to continually hold resentment for someone. It also doesn’t take much of a mind to stuff our pain and become numb to it, but, as you said quite well, refusing to forgive is terribly taxing, not to mention self-destructive. Truly forgiving someone requires us to fully engage not just our heart but also our whole self, including our mind. We must first open our heart to God, then to that person, and reason through every aspect of what transpired; even those awful details that make us relive the original experience. In doing so, we not only strengthen our mind by thinking through the entire situation, but also breathe “fresh air” into our spiritual heart, giving us an immediate and healing true love for that person, not resentment or hate.

    Ironically, honestly working through this process often reveals our own wrongdoing, not just that of the person who wronged us. There is something about understanding and accepting this that gives us immediate heartfelt humility, and, at the same time, a healing peace that releases all those pent up emotions and feelings. Immediately we feel the floodgates of life pour in, filling and cleansing our wounded soul, and we suddenly realize, “I am healed.”

    Todd

    • Hi Todd,

      I chose the opening Scriptures, for some of the very reasons that you speak of in your comments. Thus, the Scripture was added, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) Other Scriptures also speak to the fact, that a work must be wrought within me, before I can forgive, as God has ordained that we forgive.

      I totally agree that apart from Christ, we don’t have the power to truly forgive, or to absolve a person of all guilt. I simply explained what true forgiveness is, or what the results of true forgiveness are, but I was in no wise stating that we had the power to complete this work in and of ourselves. I believe, the process that we as human beings go through, in order to truly forgive one that has caused us deep hurt, must first begin with getting our hearts, our minds, and our entire beings, in line with what God’s Word says about forgiveness. Praying, reading and meditating on God’s word, and fasting, are a part of the process, that leads to healing the deep wounds, which allow us to experience true forgiveness! There is a balm in Gilead. Until this process has run its course fully, true forgiveness will not manifest, and one will not be set free, from the chains that bind! This process does not happen overnight! It takes time in the presence of God, in order to have the mind of God, as it relates to every situation, that involves forgiveness.

      It is only at the completion of this process, that we are healed of our hurts, and that we are able to say, of a truth, that only comes from the intervention of Almighty God, “I Forgive You.” I’m hoping, that I have shed more light, on my thoughts pertaining to this topic.

      Thanks for your thought-provoking comments, and as always, I’m glad you stopped by. God bless you!

      Paulette

      • Paulette,

        First, I want you to know that in no way was I taking issue with anything whatsoever in your post. It is very well written, true from beginning to end, and thoroughly addresses the importance of forgiveness. I should have made it clear that my opening question and subsequent text is simply am important part of this topic, presented only for opening up further dialog on an often overlooked aspect of forgiveness.

        Your post objectively lays out about why forgiveness is crucial to our spiritual and personal well being, and explains the negative repercussions of holding resentment against someone. It is well founded, true in every way, well written, and therefore serves as a solid foundation for launching out into the different aspects of forgiveness.

        The topic of forgiveness is one that I am working hard to exhaustively understand, and my intent was to dialog further with you, not undermine your careful work with a calloused comment. I want you to know that I appreciate your willingness to tackle such a difficult and sensitive subject. I know from personal experience that one must go through a great deal of soul searching to understand this topic. And if that isn’t difficult enough, explaining it to others in such a way that they too can effectively gain the same understanding, involves a whole other set of skills, requiring a tremendous amount of additional effort. Most of us are not willing to take on that burden let alone pull it off, but you did, and did it well. I apologize if I hurt you by my lack of initial clarification.

        Todd

        • Hey Todd,

          Your comment, was not hurtful to to me. After having become a regular visitor to your blog, and having participated in some of the discussions on your blog, or just being an interested observer, I would have expected nothing less of you. I expected you to expound upon this topic further, as well as to challenge me, to step up to the plate, to express further, my thoughts on this particular topic. It reminded me of being on your blog, :-), which is always a thought-provoking experience! I hope, you take that as a compliment. 🙂 I was not able to respond to you in a more timely manner, because I wasn’t on the computer very much yesterday evening. It was one of those most unusual evenings, when I was actually able to get some restorative sleep! Otherwise, I would have responded before now.

          Each time you come to my blog, you bring so much to the table, and I want you to know that I appreciate your input, always. Never stop being you! By the way, that last sentence reminded me of a recent article on your blog.

          Take care, Todd. I’ll chat with you later. God bless!

          Paulette

  3. Thank you, Paulette

    This is a heavy, heavy statement!!

    ““To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.””

    Withholding forgiveness is to slowly poison one’s self.

    Thanks for such a beautiful post and heartfelt prayer. Praying alonside you! It was hard for Him but He went for us. Praying we’ll do what seems hard for His name’s sake – even to forgive.

    Blessings
    ann

    • Hi Ann,

      “Withholding forgiveness is to slowly poison one’s self.” That is so true! Although the process of forgiveness can sometimes be difficult, the wonderful feeling of peace, and that of having a heavy weight lifted, is well worth it. Not to mention, that without forgiveness, we will not be forgiven, by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! That is a pill, that I never want to have to swallow!

      Thank you for the encouragement, and for your prayers. God’s word tells us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

      May the Lord bless and keep you, in His care.

      Paulette

  4. Gospel Artist of the Week.

    Do you have a need in your life? Are you struggling, and seemingly at your wits end? If so, I have an answer for you today. God is able! He is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all that we can ask or think. Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith! God is able, yes He is! “God is Able”, is the featured song this week, by the anointed and gifted, Smokie Norful! Be blessed! 🙂

    Thanks Tina. Your contributions are always appreciated!

    Paulette

  5. Paulette,

    One of the words translated “forgive” in the NT is a Greek word that means “an act of grace” or “an act of favor”. I try to think of this meaning of “forgiveness” when I am called upon to forgive someone.

    Many times, forgiveness is not deserved by the offender. There are times when the offender CANNOT make a suitable restitution for their wrongs. It is then, the Christian is called upon to display God’s grace, by forgiving the one who does not deserve it. It is at those times, when forgiveness is so difficult, that we shine the brightest light on the wonderful grace our Lord has shown to us.

    For me, forgiving one who does not deserve it is the most difficult type of forgiveness there is; yet, it is one of the greatest opportunities we have been given to glorify the Lord.

    May the Lord continue to bless your ministry. Your posting was a blessing and encouragement to those of us who need to forgive others.

    Rob

    • Thanks, Rob.  I have not heard this before.  Once again, this proves that God requires of us only what he himself does for us.  That is the awesome message of the Gospel, that only through Christ can we emulate Christ in all things, and must.  A lady in South Carolina once told me, “We are the only Jesus in this world; let them see Jesus.” 

      [Matthew 5:16] [KJV]  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – The words of Jesus

    • Hi Rob,

      I enjoyed reading your comment! It is absolute truth! “Forgiving one who does not deserve it is the most difficult type of forgiveness there is.” Nothing could be more true of forgiveness, than that statement! It certainly does give one the opportunity to be a living epistle, read among men, and truly is one of the greatest opportunities we have been given, to glorify the Lord! Thank you so much for expounding upon this topic, and adding so much to this discussion! How I long, to be like Jesus!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Your input, has taken this conversation, to another level! God bless you!

      Paulette

    • Thank you,

      “One of the words translated “forgive” in the NT is a Greek word that means “an act of grace” or “an act of favor”

      Never knew this before! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Speaking of “forgiving one who does not deserve it …”, may I invite you to hop over and take a look at this post on Mercy http://shoesforanimaginarylife.com/?p=2111 .

      Blessings
      ann

  6. Just came over from your link on my own blog. Again, thanks for coming over… and – as the first thing I saw …. this has stuck right between the eyes for me. Forgiving has been a difficult process for me – one that I’m still working through in my own life, to be quite honest. But I am grateful for what I read here. Will continue to digest it.

    Awesomely powerful words! Be blessed!

    • God bless you!

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and commenting on the article. Your words are extremely encouraging to me, and I look forward to the fellowship! I too believe, that our meeting wasn’t by chance, but orchestrated by the Lords Jesus Christ! Thank you again, for your visit.

      Blessings to you!

      Paulette

  7. I John 1:9 is one of my favorite scriptures. I learned it at a very young age and recently have been looking at it a little differently. In this article, I was able to put myself in the position of the one who forgives, as well as the one who requires forgiveness. To forgive and to be forgiven is a process that is completed by God when we ALLOW Him to do it. In both cases, the forgiveness is accomplished when we give the offense to God. Whether we be the guilty party, or the “victim” (for lack of a better word), the offense must be released to the one who can both forgive us, and help us to forgive others. I pray with my family everyday and we close our prayer by reciting the Lord’s prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” always stands out to me. The principle there is simple, never ask God to do for you what you are not willing to do for someone else!

    I agree with another post that spoke of how difficult it is to forgive those who don’t deserve it, but I don’t think that this is the MOST difficult form of forgiveness. The most difficult forgiveness in my experience is to forgive oneself. In the case of the underserving, we could easily make the argument that we too were underserving at some point. But when you commit an act that disgusts YOU, it is very difficult to reconcile in your mind that you are still a child of God and capable of being forgiven, loved and used! I can recall a time when I felt like my decisions had ruined my destiny in Him and that I was now a “lost cause”. Finding that inner forgiveness, and, again, releasing the GUILT I was experiencing to Him was a difficult proces to maneuver.

    You have brought up a topic that is not discussed as much as it once was. Forgiveness is so vital to spiritual health. As children of God we are to walk in freedom and liberty and unforgiveness can only bring bondage as we relinquish control to the person we are unable to forgive. Their presence dictates our disposition and we are still suffering and struggling long after they have repented and been healed and restored. So while forgiveness is not an easy thing to do, it is beneficial to the one who forgives as that forgiveness will be returned, and liberty and good standing with God will be maintained.

    • Hi Tim,

      I believe all who have been blood washed, and redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb, would hold this Scripture, I John 1:9, near and dear to their hearts! “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” If we are being true to ourselves, when looking into a mirror, the reflections that we look upon, are far from righteous! All of our righteousness, is as a filthy rag! However, if we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and JUST and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!” Yes, a wretch like me, and yes you, can be the righteousness of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! Hallelujah, praise God! As you said, “In this article, I was able to put myself in the position of the one who forgives, as well as the one who requires forgiveness.” At some point in our lives, everyone has found themselves on either side of the process of forgiveness, as the offender, or the offended. It is only by Divine Intervention, that the benefits of “true” forgiveness, can be realized by both the offender, and the offended, when we ALLOW the LORD, to work a work in our lives! I agree, that we should ask for forgiveness, and the ability to forgive others, no matter what the offense, on a daily basis!

      Tim, I enjoyed your comment! It is apparent, that the Lord is blessing you right now! Continue to walk in the callings, that the Lord has placed upon your life!

      Your auntie,
      Paulette

  8. Wonderful post and I thank you so much for sharing it. The content of your post was full on blessings and enlightenment. I also believe when we choose to forgive others, it demonstrates a humbleness within our own character, thus allowing us to draw even closer to God. Thank you so much for this meaningful message…Blessings to you…Oh and I love the color of your blog! Robin

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