I Forgive

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Hiding In Thee"1 (Lyrics)

"No! I don't want to forgive ______!" he seethed. Sure, he believed in forgiving, but not this person … never.

In his book, The Christian Atheist, Craig Groeschel relates that he was bitter after learning that a family friend had molested his sister. The family friend had been his sister's sixth-grade teacher, but behind the facade was a sick man who abused numerous girls. Groeschel wanted him to die and burn in hell. But the preacher's message and God's Word convicted him otherwise.

Groeschel began the road to forgiveness by praying for the offender. Eventually, he asked God to help him forgive. By the time that he wrote a letter expressing his forgiveness, the man was dying and under hospice care. Months later, a nurse contacted Groeschel and told of how she had read the letter to the dying man and listened as he asked for God's forgiveness.

Forgiveness isn't easy — and I've struggled with it more than once — but it's necessary for a clear conscience. He is "the God I serve with a clear conscience" (2 Timothy 1:3a NLT).

Matthew 6:12 – And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (NLT)

Unforgiveness breeds bitterness and anger and can birth emotional and physical illness. It also divides our mind. God is perched on one shoulder shouting "Forgive!" while Satan is crouched on the opposite, roaring, "Hate!"

Forgiveness is releasing someone from a debt they owe us for an offense they've committed. It should be immediate and continuous. Some offenses slice so deep that we have to forgive more than once. Forgiving doesn't necessarily mean that we have to re-establish ties with the offender, but we let go of the anger, bitterness, and hate. More importantly, forgiving heals our relationship with God. Unforgiveness creates static that prevents us from hearing God clearly and Him from using us fully.

Who do you need to release?

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your continual and perfect forgiveness, regardless of how often we fail You. Equip us to be as forgiving toward others as You are toward us. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Martin for writing to us.

    Thank you, Martin Wiles for a really Christian devotional. Much needed.
    Keep writing such essential truths.

    This is a very meaningful devotional this morning as we are soon facing the trial of the one who murdered our loved son. I wish you a God filled day.

    Bless you, Martin, for writing on an important topic. Lack of forgiveness eats at our very hearts and souls, where fellowship with Him and others are affected.

    Very good devotional. It had good advice for all of us that have been sinned against. I especially liked “It also divides our mind. God is perched on one shoulder shouting “Forgive!” while Satan is crouched on the opposite, roaring, “Hate!”. Keep writing.

    How very true this message is, Martin. Thank you for sharing it.
    I am reading a very insightful book, on that very subject right now (The Sin of Forgiveness by Edward Mrkvicka, Jr.). Forgiving heals not only the victim and the sinner, but brings relief to so many more people in their lives, that might have been affected by the wrong action/words too.

    Thanks Martin for your devotional,
    I honestly believe that not only on a personal basis but on a world wide national basis ought we to forgive. Most if not all the strife in this word is caused by the unwillingness of nations to forgive other nations. To many countries harbour grudges against other countries for the health of this world for whom Christ gave His life’s blood. The least we can do is to forgive on a personal basis as the Lord commanded us to you.

    Amen Martin.

    Thank you Martin. I was inspired by this beautiful message today. I pray God will use it to touch the lives of many Christians like myself who struggle with unforgiveness from time to time. May the Lord bless you as you continue to share his truth with us.

    Thank you Martin.
    Blessings to you and your loved ones.

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