“Forgive. Simply Forgive.” Time To Act by Steve Martin
“Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.” Colossians 3:13, Complete Jewish Bible
It may be surprising to know how many people will read this message, as forgiveness is something we all find hard to do at times. Just in the past few weeks I have had two people tell me personally, “Steve, you always seem to forgive people and not burn bridges. As for me, I would never…”
Honestly, it actually surprises me each time someone tells me that, about how they see me walk in forgiveness, for my thought is, which I should respond with is, “How can you not walk in forgiveness? How can you live your life carrying around hatred, tormenting thoughts, thinking “everyone is out to get you” attitude, and not let it go?”
Really. How can we do that? And who gives us the right to do it anyway?
Contemplate on these few examples and see if they relate to you.
- A mother long in her decades of life continues to speak ill-will against her daughter, well after the incident(s) of needing to forgive her has long past. Maybe the daughter was born at a time the mother didn’t “want” to have another child? Maybe jealousy for something the daughter could and did do that the mother always wanted to do, but life just didn’t seem to make a way for the mom? Could be.
- You tried to do the best you could for your boss, or your parent, and somehow, someway, it just was never good enough. Rather than acknowledging the proper and exact good things you did a good job in, they always seemed to find fault in your work and life. “Nit-pick” was once heard as a common saying in our common language. Or the parent, boss, or another in leadership praises the other one in your home, office or workplace instead of you. Cause for unforgiving times?
- Here’s a big one for many Americans today: “I pay my taxes (or not.) I am not as rich as they are. They get all the benefits in life. I deserve this free money. I deserve the government to pay my way. Free food. Free rent. Free education. Free bailout in every tragedy or natural disaster. Everything is mine and deserving, as I have the right to get it.” Totally harmful thinking.
- Here is another one that carries on in so many nations and cultures, from generation to generation, as if the “never forget” also means to “never forgive”. The parents and grandparents re-live the awful, horrible events when injustice and totally wrongful actions were committed against them, and they swore to never let them go. And then they pass it onto their children, believing this act will never be forgotten or forgiven, for it is up to us to bring revenge whenever possible. Even after decades and centuries have passed. No wonder generational hurts and wounds are passed on and carried on. No forgiveness. Ever.
What were Jesus’ words to His followers, to us? Remember the time when He spoke about forgiveness, the word about the king forgiving his servant, who then went out and did the opposite to those who had wronged him?
“This king did the same as my heavenly Father will do to you. You must forgive your brother or sister with all your heart, or my heavenly Father will not forgive you.” Matthew 18;35, Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version, Revised Edition
And again, in Mark 11:25, He spoke these words to His followers (and us): “And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive — only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.” THE MESSAGE
Catch that? “Only then” – which I emphasized so you would.
Fairly simple, right? If we want our Lord to forgive for all that we have done against others, we must forgive. And if we don’t…then God the Father will not forgive us. That is what He says.
I remember having a hard time forgiving one who I served with and for in ministry, the leader no less, and I carried that around for quite some time. I believed I had been wronged, and he should tell me he was sorry. Finally, someone wiser than me said to me, “You think they spend their time thinking about you and your hurt? They have much more of other things that they are thinking about. So why should you spend the time you do just dwelling on your own hurt? They may never say anything to you about it. Forgive them and forget it. Move on.” Wise words.
We do not have the right to harbor unforgiveness. We do not have the “luxury” of keeping and hanging onto the hurt, the pain, the unjust things done against us, knowing or unknowingly, as we walk this faith walk. It not only ruins our day, but it is proven scientific fact that unforgiveness brings health issues that we really don’t want to have.
As I heard in my younger days, “Bury the hatch. Don’t keep bringing it up again.” And I will add to that, “Don’t even remember where you put it once buried.”
I entitled this message, “Forgive. Simply Forgive.” Though it is not really easy, or even desired at times, it really is a must. We simply do not have the right to carry unforgiveness in our daily life. It hurts us even more than we realize, as well as it continues to hurt those around us as we carry that spirit with us.
If anyone had the right to not forgive it would be Yeshua, Jesus, God Himself. He was beaten, scourged, and crucified. Yes, God in the flesh Himself! And yet what was His response, “When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ” Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:33-34, NASU
We call ourselves Christians? It is time we act like it.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Love For His People Founder/President
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Time To Act #26 – in the year of our Lord 9.21.2020 – “Forgive. Simple Forgive.” Monday, 6:20 am in Charlotte, NC USA