Tuesday, August 28, 2012

To forgive ...or not to forgive, that is the question!

All of us, at one time or another, have been hurt or betrayed by someone in our life. Perhaps by a childhood playmate, or a family member or spouse. Perhaps even by someone in church or at work. I would say that I personally have been hurt by all of the above at one time or another.

Often times our words and actions hurt others, sometimes on purpose but most of the time accidental. No matter what the intent is, the outcome is always the same. Hurt feelings, relationships divided and unforgiveness rooted.

Is it important to forgive others?

Forgiving others is often not even about that person or the offense that they brought, forgiveness is almost always about you! Forgiveness can never erase the hurt but it can ease it. Extending forgiveness doesn't always free the other person of their wrong doing, but it will free you. 
Free us from what?

Forgiveness will free you of harboring resentment in your heart, it will free you of turning around and hurting someone else just because you have been hurt. Forgiveness frees you of hate, malice and bitterness. Forgiveness brings freedom.

But it isn't always easy to forgive.

When I think about all of the times I have been wronged by someone I care about, I can't help feel like Joseph must have felt. Talk about a person who had been wronged, Joseph had his share of hurt and deception... and by his own brothers!

His brothers not only betrayed him, but then sold him into slavery. But as the story goes, God had a very unique plan in store for Joseph and after some amazing turn of events, Joseph became the second most powerful man at that point in history. But all the wealth, and all of the power still did not erase what his brothers did years past. Joseph had a decision to make.

Forgive or not forgive...now, that is the question.

"Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people." GENESIS 50:19,20

Years later, when his brothers came face to face with him, Joseph had the power to have them thrown in a pit or worse, have their heads cut off. But instead of payback, instead of an eye for an eye, Joseph chose to forgive.

It wasn't because his brothers deserved to be forgiven. But Joseph recognized the hand of God on his life and when we get to that point that Joseph was, we cannot help but remember that we too did not deserve to be forgiven, but yet we were.

Do you need to extend forgiveness today to someone? Don't let hurt and deception FORM who you are, rather, let the forgiveness of God and the act of forgiving others TRANSFORM you!

What's it going to be today...forgive or not forgive?


Denise said...

I choose to forgive.

Kathleen said...

This is excellent Laurie - God is so good to extend forgiveness to us and it opens the flood gates of Heaven to healing! Bless you girl!