One ofthe most difficult experiences in life is exacting humanforgiveness. Joseph was rejected, kidnapped, enslaved, imprisoned andforgotten. He experienced the treachery of unfaithfulness by his ownfamily. Certainly, Joseph wrestled with the pain of humanforgiveness. All of us do. Why should we forgive one another andhow can we do it?
Many believers are unable to forgive others due to their emotional instabilitycaused by the hurt experienced by the offender. Forgiveness is not anemotional act... it is a spiritual act that one commits themselves to in spiteof the pain that may even last a life time. However, humanforgiveness requires strength that is beyond human ability. It requiresan understanding of God's willingness to forgive us of our trespasses. (Ephesians4:32)
1. Forgiveness is the essential ingredient of the Christian life. Jesus Christ provided himself as the perfect example of forgiveness. Forgiveness is notexcusing one's offense, it is literally absorbing the costof one's offense. Jesus Christ literally boreour sins and the consequence of our sin... death. Thus, while forgiveness can bepainful and costly, it is the ultimate hallmark of Christ likeness
. Forgiveness is in a state of conflict with the pattern of theworld. When we listen to the world, forgiveness seems nearimpossible or unreasonable. The world is bent on revenge. Many Christianswill not exact genuine forgiveness because they have been cheated in oneway or another. Unforgiveness, more than anything else, is what stunts the Christian'sspiritual growth. Truthfully, most Christians areenslaved to bitterness due to an unforgiving willingness in our relationships.
3. Forgivenessor the lack of forgiveness is a reflection of one's devotion to Christ or self.For one to exact forgiveness to the offender, they must bring every condemningand condescending thought they entertain about the offender into captivityto Christ Jesus and begin to think scripturally about the atoning work ofJesus Christ).(Colosians3:13)
As Christians, our relationship to God makes forgiveness desirable andbeneficial. No one loses with forgiveness.
Rev WilliamA Tyler Sr