Dear brothers and sisters,
Shalom. There was a great guy who became famous for his ability to tame and train wild animals. Although these animals seemed well trained and tamed, they still remained what they really were, vicious and dangerous. One day one of the lions turned againsthim and tore him to pieces. So is un-forgiveness, it is vicious and dangerous.

Let’s look at three lies of un-forgiveness.
Lie #1: You must wait until the person shows they’ve repented.

Well, to put it bluntly, Jesus didn’t. He forgave his enemies on the cross, at the very moment they were killing him. Forgiveness isn’t the same as reconciliation. With reconciliation, you need both sides to come to the table. But forgiveness is first about releasing you from bitterness, only second about fixing the relationship. Sometimes the relationship is never fully healed; sometimes our forgiveness is a huge step toward it being healed. But our responsibility is to forgive either way.

Lie #2: Forgiving somehow “lessens” the value of the victim or the offense of what the offender did.

People get this confused a lot. They assume that forgiving an offense is the same as saying, “That wasn’t that bad after all.” No, that’s “excusing” or “minimizing” it. You excuse someone when they accidentally step on your toes. No harm, no foul. But forgiveness isn’t like that. Forgiveness stares right in the face of evil, calls it evil, but then chooses to leave the vengeance to God.

The irony here is that victims who refuse to forgive think they’re somehow getting back at their offender. But the real person being hurt in unforgiveness is the victim. Forgiveness isn’t a law to obey, but a path to freedom. Unforgiveness, on the other hand, is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die. It’s choosing to stay trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime. This is a killer.

There are several reasons for un-forgiveness. Stubbornness, selfishness, among others. The worst one is pride. We will address these and the other lies next. Check out next week in your SPREADING THE LIGHT BULLETIN.
ONE A WEEK………for am not ashamed of the gospel……..