The Process of Forgiving – Part VI
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:38-48
Key Verse: Matthew 5:44
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.
I want to end this week’s teaching on forgiveness with the lyrics of Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness”. Look at the first verse:
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
Takes everything you have just to say the word
There are a couple of lines in this first verse for you to consider.
The first line to consider is: “It goes to those who don’t deserve”. This is an important understanding when we talk about forgiving someone. As humans, we often think that we want to hurt back, punish, or give some sort of unpleasantness to someone who has hurt us. That is what they deserve!
So, understand this: anyone that hurts you does not deserve your forgiveness; you must be good with that if you plan to be a forgiving person.
The second line to consider is: “It’s opposite of how you feel”. We will never be a forgiving person if we wait until we “feel” like it. And if we never become a forgiving person, Jesus said that our Heavenly Father will not forgive us!
To become a forgiving person, allow your Spirit to rule over your feelings.
Let’s consider a few lines in the second verse of the song:
It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you’ve got a right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying set it free
The first line of the second verse to consider is: “It flies in the face of all your pride”. To forgive someone that has really hurt you means to humble yourself before the Lord and submit to His Lordship. When Jesus is Lord of your life, then you must forgive every person who has hurt you because of Jesus’s willingness to forgive you all the ways you have hurt Him.
The second and third lines to consider are: “Even when the jury and the judge, Say you gotta right to hold a grudge”. This is often true with those that care about you. Your family and friends who know about the hurt that a person has done to you may tell you that you have every right to be angry and to never forgive that person. The problem with this advice that is Christ-followers must listen to God’s Spirit within them and forgive them anyway.
The last lines to consider are: “It’ll clear the bitterness away, It can even set a prisoner free, There is no end to what its power can do, So, let it go and be amazed”. This reminds us of what happens when we obey God and forgive the people that hurt us.
Let’s get “Kingdom Fit” and allow God’s power to work through us and, yes… be amazed at the power of forgiveness!
Father, help me to become a person who quickly forgives those who fall short of my expectations and those who hurt me deeply. In Jesus’s Name, amen.