*The following column was first published in the West Side Journal in July 2011
Matthew 5:44, 6:14-15, 18:15 Luke 6:37
There is a cancer that is eating at the very existence of society, especially the Body of Christ. That cancer is unforgiveness.
We find it so hard to forgive others for the simple transgressions they commit against us, but we want complete forgiveness from God for ourselves. We demand justice for others but mercy for ourselves.
Is this an equal playing field? Forgiveness is one of those great gifts we receive when we allow the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives.
True transformation cannot occur without the power of the Holy Spirit. If we think we can do it without Him we are only fooling ourselves. It is a conscious decision to let go the hurt of the error that you had no control over.
You do however; have control over your decision of forgiveness.
Not forgiving keeps us locked in a place where we cannot move forward because we are trapped in a place where our focus is on the incident and its pain instead of forgiving and moving on.
Marriages are broken, relationship ties are severed. Blood pressures are raised, heart problems manifest... all because of not forgiving.
I understand in some situations it is easier said than done. It depends on the situation, the circumstance and also the parties involved.
Try these simple steps:
1. Acknowledge the hurt-meditate on what happened and how it affected you.
2. Examine yourself- remember that we are not always innocent victims in some situations
3. Pray for forgiveness – ask God to forgive you for your participation include the person who caused you pain.
Jesus offered forgiveness from the Cross. Through His last difficult breaths he asked for forgiveness for the very folk who needed Him most.
What about us? Can we allow the power to nurture and mature us in this area in our lives?
Why not, it is available.