Thursday, October 3, 2013

31 Days of Less and More: Less Bitterness, More Forgiveness.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 
Micah 7:18-19

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 
Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness. Not an easy word to live out, especially in a world full of sinful people, including oneself. Forgiveness is an attitude of the heart that needs to be lived out daily; just as God's mercies are new every morning, so must ours be. And almost shockingly, yet seemingly not believed by most of us who profess to believe in God's word, if we do not forgive men their sins, our Father will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15). This is obviously a serious matter to our God, who through allowing His own Son to die, proved forgiveness to be an invaluable gift.

It's actually quite absurd for a child of God to not forgive. How much more have we ourselves been forgiven by our Father than anything anyone could require us to forgive! It cost God everything to forgive us and we were forgiven while we were yet sinners, not beautiful in the least.

All this to say, forgiveness is something that I continue to struggle with, and yet by God's grace, have been able to work through daily. It is a constant attitude of the heart and truly achievable only with the help of the Spirit.

As the lyrics say in Tenth Avenue North's song, Losing, "Give me grace to forgive them, because I feel like the one losing." Yet, there is freedom when we forgive, even those who continue to hurt us. We can choose to not be a part of their life, but we also still must choose to forgive. Forgiveness is a very deep form of love and we have a tremendous example of forgiveness in the God who hung on a cross for the ugly people who hated and mocked and killed him.

Lord, help us to forgive.

I'm participating in the 31 Days of Less and More series, with "days 2-11—will focus on filling our lives with less heartache and more joy. Next, Part Two—days 12-21—will focus on creating less stress but more peace. Finally, Part Three—days 22-31—will hone in on our physical spaces and focus on having less stuff but more contentment." Join along with me for less stuff and stress and more joy!

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