FORGIVEN PEOPLE FORGIVE
Lesson #5 in WAW Bible study is all about forgiveness. We
talk about what it means when I say I can't forgive myself. This is more about
having trouble accepting God's love. It's more about the trouble accepting that
God has forgiven you. Maybe you find it difficult to accept His love because
you fell unloved, unlovable, or simply worthless. Maybe you think you have
messed up too much or you should have known better than to do what you continue
to do. Maybe you find it difficult to trust God as a male or father figure,
because of the abuse you suffered through the hands of your father, stepfather,
brother, uncle, etc.
If you learn how to receive the love of God, there will not be an issue of not forgiving yourself.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32 NLT
Forgiven people forgive! That is because we are eternally
grateful for God’s forgiveness. Outside of Christ, I was stuck in a cycle of
unforgiveness. Forgiveness is something to be passed on today, not to be stored
away for some unique future occasion.
Unforgiveness can stunt the health of our relationships. Its cancerous affect eats away at our delight in God, family and friends. Unforgiveness waits to explode at any moment of disappointment.
Do you hold a grudge that has a hold of you? Does resentment hang over you like a bad dream, only you never wake up? Forgiveness frees you from the bitter taste of bitterness and replaces it with the sweet taste of grace.
Make your forgiveness specific. Did a relative abuse you as a child? Were you fired from a job? If they have abandoned you or are dead, write a letter expressing Christ’s love and your forgiveness.
What if you forgive someone and his or her response is non-existent, or negative? You cannot control another’s response, only your own. Trust and obey. Love and kindness tear down walls of anger—grace and forgiveness build bridges of hope.