Forgiving is not optional

reapTherefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Forgiving is not optional. It is a command. The prayer that Jesus taught his followers (and us) how to pray includes: “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

The question is NOT whether or not God is able to forgive us. He is. He does.

The question is: Are you willing to forgive those who have wounded you?

Here we are, back at one of the fundamental universal laws: Sowing and Reaping. Universal laws are absolute and constant, and we cannot escape their operation

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8

If you sow unforgiveness, you reap unforgiveness. If you don’t forgive, you pour poison into your own heart and build stony walls around it. And from that inner reality, bitter roots and acidic expectations flourish.

It is impossible for humans to really forgive others on our own power. There is no amount of effort, straining, or goal-setting that can bring us there. Forgiveness is another gift from God’s storehouse of grace. Jesus accomplished our forgiveness on the cross—his power, not ours. So when Christians forgive others, we do so by asking the Spirit of Christ to come into our lives and our situations to accomplish forgiveness for us. We need to submit ourselves in a position so that the Lord can move through us to accomplish the humanly impossible.

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