You haven’t truly forgiven someone until you no longer wish them ill.
Reference: v.27 Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: I was involved in a leadership course a little while ago that ran a session on forgiveness. As Christians we hear about forgiveness all the time. We are reminded of the amazing length that Jesus went to so that we could ask God for forgiveness and gratefully we are told that we just have to ask Jesus for forgiveness and it is given to us. However when it comes to us personally having to forgive another person, the topic seems a little more complicated. In our group we had people who had suffered greatly at the hand of another and for myself I felt that there was someone in my life at the time that was hurting me regularly. A key phrase that I recall the session leader say was: You haven’t truly forgiven someone until you no longer wish them ill. This really struck home to me for I didn’t really feel vindictive towards a certain person but I would always relish the idea of their sporting team losing! Clearly I still had a little way to go down the forgiveness road!
Application: While reading through the Psalms the writer often speaks about their enemies. And I must say there are some pretty strong words spoken against whoever their enemy may be. Not being able to – nor wanting to – make a judgment on the Psalmist’s state of forgiveness, I will say this for the writer/s: they leave the justification up to God. When I feel wronged I want to take things into my own hand, and yet the Psalmist reminds me that while the pain is still very real I must continue to pray and leave the response up to God.
Prayer: Lord, I find it so difficult to forgive someone who has wronged me and especially someone who has caused pain to those I love. And yet this struggle highlights the amazing act of forgiveness that you show to every single person every single day. Thank you for your love, grace and forgiveness. May I learn to express them more to those around me. Amen.
Is there someone you are struggling to forgive?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.