Summary: To have a contented and enjoyable live, we must learn the art of forgiveness.
The Bridge of Forgiveness
To have a contented and enjoyable Christian experience one must learn to forgive. Most of us at one time or another have wounded someone with words or have been wounded. And most of the time the hurt has comes from someone who is dear to us.
To often our response has been, if that the way you want it, then that’s what you will get. Then we’ll say, who cares and we cut them out of our life. When you offer forgiveness to someone you are freeing yourself from the weight of the offense, even though you may not have been the offender in the conflict.
In the book of Matthew chapter six and verses fourteen and fifteen, Jesus said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, you heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will you Father forgive your trespasses.”
Before Jesus made this statement to the disciples, He had talked to them about prayer, telling them not to be like the heathen who used vain repetitions, so they would be heard for their much speaking. Then Jesus said unto his disciples when pray don’t be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray aloud standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets to be seen and heard of men.
But He told the disciples, when you pray enter into the closet and shut the door, and pray to the Father in secret and the Father will reward thee openly. And then He taught them how to pray, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
The will of the Father is that we love God and have love for our fellowman. His will is that we live in peace showing kindness in the bonds of Christian love preferring one another.
One of the many reasons we should forgive is so our prayers will be answered. Have you ever bowed on your knees to pray and it seemed like your prayers fell on deaf ears. Could it be that you fail to repent of the iniquity and did not offer forgiveness?
The wise man Solomon wrote concerning the Law of humility and moral virtues stating, “If your enemy be hungry give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.” Proverbs 25: 21/22
The most beautiful example of forgiveness was connected with the cross of Jesus Christ. When Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required; that he would release unto them a man who had been cast into prison because of murder, and deliver Jesus to them. The bible states, “And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.”
“But Jesus turning unto them said Daughters of Jerusalem; weep not for me, but week for yourselves, and for your children. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right the other on the left. Then Jesus said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
This was such a display of forgiveness, they put him to death but He forgave them, yet many times we fail to forgive for some minor thing. The instructions Jesus gave concerning answers to prayer and victorious Christian living was to offer forgiveness. Even when we think that we have gone the second mile we must forgive.
In the book of Matthew chapter eighteen 18 it records the law of forgiveness, “Then Peter said, Lord how oft shall by brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Shall it be seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say unto thee, until seventy times seven.”
An example of forgiveness is found in the life of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob and the first born of Rachel. One of the most outstanding men of the Bible, the lifestyle of this young man should be an inspiration to all when it comes to forgiveness.
The story never loses its charm as we read the account of this man of God, he went from the pit to the palace, and from rags to riches, Joseph was a dreamer and he labored as a slave, yet enjoyed the presence of God and won the confidence of his master.
Joseph resisted temptation; was silent amid tainted accusations and the appearance of guilt and unjust punishment. When days of honor followed days of humiliation, he did not yield to pride. He manifested great wisdom, brotherly love and utter submission.