Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Deep, Festering Wounds

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
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.

God has bombarded me with challenging messages about forgiveness in my reading and conversations.  The ongoing, difficult theme has been forgive, seek out and pour God’s love on those who hurt you.  When God repeats Himself, I've learned to pay attention.  Today, Dr. Charles Stanley’s devotion flipped the forgiveness message over, examining the unhealthy burden of unforgiveness.

Dr. Stanley assures me that I don’t lose my place in eternity when I refuse to forgive.  Rather, my "unrepentant attitude” affects my intimacy with God.  It’s an elephant in the room.  I cannot be close to God with unresolved resentment.

Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.  Bitterness doesn’t fit who I am as a Christian.  Resentment is unhealthy.  Anger becomes a huge wound as it grows and festers.  Scripture emphasizes forgiveness because God knows what’s good for me (yet again!).
God also knows how difficult it can be.  Think about Jesus’ forgiving words from the cross for those who crucified Him.  Ask God to help you lay aside your anger and resentment.  Only with God’s power and grace can we forgive such deep wounds.

God’s persistence with this message has me searching myself for any resentment that’s festering below the surface.  How about you?

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