Joy to the World

Your unforgiveness hurts you more than anyone else; unforgiveness leads to bitterness

The Stability of Our Joy
Staying Alert – Part IV

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:13-25

Key Verse: John 16:22
“… then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.”

The last three days devotionals have been about the practical things or signs that we can look at in our lives that let us know if we are truly staying alert and sober in our walk with God.

A fourth sign is the level of forgiveness that characterize our lives. I do not have to convince you that God’s forgiveness to us as His children is huge!

However, I have found over the years that Christ-followers struggle with the forgiveness levels in their relationships with others. We all experience hurts in our relationships with our spouse, our children (especially when they are our adult children), and our friends. The Bible makes it clear that God expects us to pass on forgiveness as freely as God forgives us.

Does this lack of forgiveness really affect our “Joy in the Lord”? It surely does. When a situation requires forgiveness on our part, but we refuse to give it, we hurt ourselves. Someone said that refusing to give forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the person that needs your forgiveness. In other words, the person who hurts the most in your unforgiveness is you!

Unforgiveness festers in our soul and leads to bitterness. I imagine you have met unforgiving people that are hard to be around because they are so bitter. Do not allow yourself to be that kind of person.

Jesus lowered the hammer on unforgiveness in the Beatitudes, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15).

I admit that there are verses in the Bible that I do not understand, but these two verses are clear. Forgiving blesses us more than the person we are forgiving! (continued).

Father, please remind me when someone hurts me that I have hurt you and you forgave me. Help me be a forgiving person. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.

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