Do we really even have a choice?
The Bible instructs us to forgive others as the Lord forgave us:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
The problem is that:
Lets face it, forgiving others goes against our nature...we want revenge, justice, restitution, tears of apology, but sometimes even that isn't enough to motivate us.
How does one forgive if we really don't feel like it?
We need a change of heart.
How do we get that change of heart?
I believe that forgiving others is a conscious choice...
A choice we make through a decision of our will, motivated by obedience to God and his command to forgive. And God will honor our obedience.
We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Phillipians 1:6
Besides the fact that the Lord expects us to forgive others:
Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said:
But what if someone sins against us and we don't get the apology we think we deserve?
We must get ourselves to the point where we really believe the act of forgiving is more for us. Forgiveness sets us free from judgments against the other person which would otherwise lead to bitter roots that entangle us in our own lives.
If we do not forgive - we are not forgiven.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-16
God's kingdom is all about forgiveness...Jesus died so we could be forgiven...How can we not forgive others?
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
I believe that if we can allow the Lord to change our hearts and get to that place of forgiveness, what we will find in the end is that:
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