‘…forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another…’ Colossians 3:13 NIV
To start the New Year right, you must let go of any old grudges that are weighing you down. Philip Yancey describes forgiveness as an unnatural act and says, ‘You don’t find dolphins forgiving sharks for eating their playmates. It’s a dog-eat-dog world…not a dog-forgive-dog world.’ Bitterness comes naturally when you’ve been hurt, whereas forgiving is supernatural and requires God’s enabling grace. But remember, Jesus said, ‘If you do not forgive…your Father will not forgive your sins.’ (Matthew 6:15 NIV) Humanly speaking, there is not one single reason God should forgive your sins, yet the offences He pardons you for every day far outweigh anything you will ever be asked to forgive others for. By forgiving, you change the whole dynamic. You open the door of a prison where you are both prisoner and jailer, setting yourself and the other person free. Grudges not only isolate you from people who were once friends, they actually shorten your life by producing deadly enzymes that contribute to a host of physical ailments. One man told his counsellor, ‘I wish my brother could come to my wedding, but we haven’t spoken in years.’ The counsellor asked, ‘How come?’ Pausing, the man replied, ‘It sounds ridiculous now, but I don’t even remember.’ Drifting apart is the natural result of an unforgiving spirit; forgiveness reverses the trend by restoring and healing broken relationships. It’s a medical certainty that forgiveness adds years to your life. As a general rule, when you talk to people who’ve passed the eighty-year mark you find they are at peace with themselves- because they’ve learned to forgive and let go.
SoulFood: 1 Thess 1-5, 2 Cor 5:14-21, Ps 77:11-20, Pr 9:10-12
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2011