What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Forgiveness, Part II

In my last post, "What About Forgiveness?", we looked at the benefits of forgiving others...according to Oprah Winfrey, and also according to God's Word.  However, this was a rather one sided look at forgiveness.  Today I need to address the other side...that is, our own need to be forgiven.  Yes, it is true that when we forgive others it is a release to our souls, minds, and bodies...we are set free from the bitterness, anger, and pain of harboring resentment, hatred, and an unforgiving spirit.  We can move on with our lives and put the past behind us...regardless of whether or not the other party accepts our forgiveness or not.  Our happiness and peace of mind is not dependent upon whether or not the offending party realizes how they've hurt us.  We do not have to be held in bondage to that hurt any longer.

BUT!  What about YOU?  How have YOU offended others?  Are there people in your life that you need to go to and ask forgiveness? Have you left wounded soldiers in your wake? Have you walked away without regard to how your words, deeds, or lack of deeds may have injured others? Perhaps you haven't even thought about it much...and suddenly the Holy Spirit convicts you of your wrong-doing.  Your eyes are opened to the truth about yourself...those words you spoke in haste, anger, or even jest that cut to the heart and soul of your loved one, child, friend, co-worker.  Those little white lies you may have told to cover for your mistakes, or the way you allowed someone else to be blamed or take the blame for your misconduct...the time you turned your head and ignored the person in distress that you could've helped if you had just taken a moment out of your busy day...little things that you didn't think anyone noticed. And yet, deep in your heart you know that it was wrong...and God noticed.

Yeah, it's not so easy to turn the spotlight on ourselves, is it?  When we examine ourselves in the light of God's Word, the Truth, we begin to realize that we are the ones in need of forgiveness...and the pain and anger and bitterness and resentment we may be feeling may well be because we have unconfessed sin in our hearts...and we know we need to make it right.

 Jesus says in Matthew 5:23:
"Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

This works both ways...either you remember that your brother has something against you because you have done him wrong...or you remember that your brother has something against you because he had done you wrong...either way..."first be reconciled to your brother (sister), and then come and offer your gift."

I John 1:8-10 tells it like it is:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (Jesus) a liar, and His Word is not in us."

I love what the book of James has to say about this subject:

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.
Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, 
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.
And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Confess your trespasses to one another, that you may be healed.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
James 5:13-16 

Perhaps the sickness and sorrow we are feeling in our hearts is the result of unconfessed sin...and the unwillingness to be forgiven.  That's right...we are not willing to be forgiven because we do not want to admit that we are wrong! Oops!  Can that be true?  Hmmm, I'm afraid, in my case, it could be true more often than not.

Don't get me wrong.  I believe what we are taught in I John 2:12:

"I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name's sake." 
And also I believe what we are taught in Romans 5:6-8 ~
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die;
yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, 
in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us." 

Yes, I believe Christ died for my sins, and that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."  Psalm 103:12 

When Christ said on the cross, "It is Finished!" (John 19:30)....He meant what He said. The battle for my soul was won. Christ was victorious over the sting of death and curse of death. My sins were forgiven at that very moment.  Except for one thing...I had to Believe in Christ for that forgiveness to be applied to me....I had to REPENT of my sins...turn away from them...admit I was  wrong....and accept God's FREE gift of salvation.  (Ephesians 2)

BUT! (again)...That does not mean that I can continue to live my life with unconfessed sin...and that I should not ask forgiveness of those against whom I have transgressed (sinned).   If I truly want to be free from the bondage of unforgiveness...I must also be willing to humble myself and ask forgiveness just as I also wish to forgive others....

"If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."  Matthew 6:14-15

In the Lord's Prayer, we have prayed over and over again these words:

"Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors."  (Matthew 6:11-12)

We'd all love to have our "debts" forgiven us, wouldn't we?  But the catch is, "As WE forgive our debtors"...It is always a two pronged event..."Forgive ME...and I forgive OTHERS"...
Something to think about...Am I willing to forgive others their debts against me (sins, hurts, wounds)...and am I also willing to BE forgiven myself?...All I need to do is admit that I need to BE forgiven too....

Something to think about tonight, huh?  Yeah, something to think about...

Who do I need to ask for forgiveness? This is getting very personal.

May God shine His spotlight into our souls tonight and help us see with His eyes the truth of what we need to do. Amen.


  1. We were thinking similar thoughts today...I drafted a post with less scripture but similar theme...tempted to send it to you. Not sure when I will post and it needs some editing. You wrote the scripture version of what I wrote I think...hmmm. Powerful and convicting, my friend.

    1. I know this has a LOT of scripture...but what else is our faith built upon? Where did the whole idea of forgiveness come from, if not from God Himself? So, I went to the source. I could re-quote the whole Bible to fully cover the subject...but God already did that, so I guess I'll leave the rest up to Him. Thank you for making me take a second look at this and cover the topic more fully. I would LOVE To see what you have written as well! Please?! If you don't, I may not forgive you! Ha Ha!! Love ya, girlfriend!

  2. Your posts about the two sides of sin, being forgiven and being forgiving, are helpful.

    1. Thank you, Terra. I pray that God will be glorified in these messages and not the writer or the person quoted. It's all about our relationship with God first and foremost. That is where forgiveness originated, right after Adam and Eve committed the original sin. Forgiveness will always be at the center of God's plan for His children.

  3. Great post and yes it accompanies Dawn's really well. Great minds.......

    1. scary, huh? No, really, I appreciated Dawn's comments on my previous blog, that helped to spur me on to write this second part. It's probably a topic that could stand a lot more study. Something that we all have to grapple with in our lives on a regular basis!


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