“A person who cannot forgive is a person who’s forgotten what they’ve been forgiven of.” Pastor JP Miller, paraphrased from Bait of Satan by John Bevere
Since I’m really on a roll, I decided to add really forgive.
I spent five weeks simultaneously going through two books about forgiveness: Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense by John Bevere and Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again by Lysa TerKeurst.
Talk about an intense month-long dive into a difficult topic. We cried one week, laughed the next, left feeling low the following week, felt high on forgiveness the next. In short, our emotions flip-flopped all over the place.
No matter how painful our stories, forgiveness ended up the bottom line. If we want to spend forever with Jesus, we have to stop replaying our pain, stop playing victim, and forgive every single offense and every single person who carried out the offenses. Every single one.
Did we all hear “every single one”?
“God deals with me if I don’t deal with my unforgiveness.” Pastor JP Miller
I conversed about unforgiveness with someone close to me …
“You don’t want to end up in hell because you didn’t forgive them. They’re not worth it, and Heaven is.”
“I’m not worried about it. God understands,” they said.
Oh, God understands all right. We (choose any person in any century) killed His perfect son because of our unforgiveness. And don’t think for a minute that you and I wouldn’t kill Him today. They were us and we are them – all selfish and greedy and wanting our own ways.
Every single day, we break Jesus’ heart, put His name to shame, and crucify Him all over again. All the while, we tell ourselves we would never deny, sin against, or kill Him because we’re better than that.
I mean, look at us. Really look at us.
We have the audacity to be righteous about others being wrong? I’m here and preaching to myself. This isn’t self-deprecation. It’s survival of not the fittest, but survival of the forgiving.
When we won’t forgive, it’s like taking a poison pill and hoping the other person dies. We’re killing ourselves.
Forgiveness is freedom.
Tomorrow I’ll share about ways to fast forward our forgiveness.
In This Together,