I’ve recently had a “friend” show me unforgiveness. I’ve had several weeks of really struggling with this, which seemed to be overwhelming. This morning I listened to a podcast from Dr. Charles Stanley entitled “Victory Over Rejection Pt 1” and then read the following devotional this morning. While it is definitely human nature to feel angry and hurt in these instances, that’s not how Scripture tells us to be. We are to forgive and to forgive again (Matthew 18:21-22). We are to love like Jesus loves us (John 13:34-35). And we are to look to our Lord for our strength (Psalm 119:28), not focus on harmful relationships. In this “relationship” I’ve done all I know to do. I leave the results in the Lord’s hands, and instead of focusing on the hurt, I’m giving thanks for the forgiveness I’ve received from the Lord, and I have prayed for this person. I have cast my burdens upon the Lord and know that He will sustain me (Psalm 55:22). I already have a lightness I haven’t felt in a long time.
My friend Norm Cook sometimes had a surprise for his family when he arrived home from work. He would walk through the front door, and shout, “You’re forgiven!” It wasn’t that family members had wronged him and needed his forgiveness. He was reminding them that though they doubtless had sinned throughout the day, they were by God’s grace fully forgiven.
The apostle John supplies this note about grace: “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7–9)
To “walk in the light” is a metaphor for following Jesus. Imitating Jesus with the Spirit’s help, John insists, is the sign that we have joined with the apostles in the fellowship of faith. We are authentic Christians. But, he continues, let’s not be deceived: We will make wrong choices at times. Nevertheless, grace is given in full measure: We can take what forgiveness we need.
Not perfect; just forgiven by Jesus! That’s the good word for today.
Lord, I know I’m not even close to being perfect. That’s why I need You and Your cleansing in my life. I’m lost without You.
Source: Forgiven from Our Daily Bread