Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Blessing of Forgiveness

Especially at this time of year, when we’re locked in a small space with a group of people that we may not see the rest of the year, or perhaps with whom we have nothing in common outside of DNA, forgiveness is a timely and God-inspired topic for us to address. 

Receiving and giving forgiveness should be a way of life for Christ-followers, right?

 Matthew 6:12 puts a high priority on reconciliation, not only between us and God, but also between us and our fellow man.

Matthew 6:12
…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

There are many songs on the radio today that talk about forgiveness. We often sing along with the artist, but do we fully understand what “forgiveness” means?

While giving forgiveness can be challenging—even agonizing—for many of us, we all eagerly desire to be forgiven. However, pride can keep us from admitting when we’re wrong. And ignoring our fault (or our sin) has a price, especially when it involves sin that we do not or will not confess to God.

While we are forgiven for the past, present and future of our sin, we still need the cleansing experiences to put away sin that would otherwise cause guilt. We don’t want to be bogged down by guilt and bitterness. When we confess, it’s like fresh air and we don’t have that distance between us and God.

Unconfessed sin eats away at us— from the inside out—and puts a distance between us and God. And when we hold onto a grudge with both hands, when that slight or hurtful behavior begins to define the relationship, the wall grows – brick by brick – until we can hardly see that person on the other side. In both cases, when we humble ourselves and admit our mistakes, nothing is sweeter than being forgiven.

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Sandra D. Bricker is a best-selling and award-winning author of laugh-out-loud romantic comedy for the Christian market. Her most popular series (that started with Always the Baker Never the Bride) will conclude this spring with Always the Baker FINALLY the Bride, which is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Sandie leads a team of writers in creating the Living It Out daily Bible study for CedarCreek Church. Today's devotion is based on the Living It Out study on the importance of forgiveness. If you enjoyed it, feel free to check out the daily studies by e-mail or audio podcast by clicking HERE.


Ane Mulligan said...

I've found it to be true. If I don't forgive the one it hurts most is me. I'm mad, I'm grumpy and have no joy or peace. While it's hard sometimes, to forgive, I learned to ask God to change my heart. He always answers that kind of prayer with a big YES! :)

Ellen Andersen said...

It's true. A grudge often doesn't affect the other person at all. It holds us hostage. Forgiving them sets US free.