I will not claim to be “perfect;” only Jesus is perfect. No, I am a Christian who has real life problems, and fails daily. It is only by the grace of God alone that saves me. Recently I’ve been struggling with anger, and from that I’ve been having difficulty with that nasty ‘f’ word, forgiveness.
When I was praying to God about what to write for this month’s entry, He laid on my heart what I’ve been struggling with, forgiveness. I looked up scripture on it and found a passage in Luke chapter 6 verses 37-42 that says, “’Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ He also told them this parable: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
After reading and reflecting on this it hit me. How can I even begin to help those with their lives, if my life isn’t reflecting a life of Christ? Christ suffered and died on a cross for my sake so that I could be forgiven. So who am I to let this seed of anger in my heart grow, and not begin to forgive those in my life? If I can’t forgive, how can I encourage them to change things in their own lives?
I want to be angry. I don’t want to forgive. Because I know that once I forgive I won’t have that anger in my heart anymore. Even though I feel like I have the right to be angry, God’s calling me to forgive. He knows that once I forgive the Devil cannot have a foothold in my heart. I think Matthew West explains what God is trying to get through my thick skull best in his song Forgiveness. The part that really speaks to me is the third verse: “It’ll clear the bitterness away. It can even set a prisoner free. There is no end to what its power can do. So, let it go and be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace. The prisoner that it really frees is you.” As a whole I know I don’t want to be angry. I’m ready to step out and do the impossible, and start the process of forgiveness.
I am going to join you in this month’s dare, forgiving. Join me in reflecting over this scripture (and other’s as well), and asking God to help us forgive, to have the courage to approach those we need to forgive and actually forgive them in a loving way, and to have enough patience with them so we don’t explode. So will you take the dare with me? Will you remove these chains with me so that we can grow? Will you believe?
- Luke 6:37-42
- Matthew 6:9-15
- Matthew 8:21-35
- Psalm 130
- 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
- 1 John 1: 5-10