Thursday, June 18

Forgiveness is a Choice of the Heart

Forgive? How can I forgive the one who…

* sabotaged my husband’s business.
* introduced my child to drugs or alcohol.
* stole my identity, leaving me with a financial mess.
* abused me sexually as a child or did so to my child.
* kidnapped my child and sold him/her for sex trafficking.
* lured my teenager from the internet into running away.
* drove down the wrong side of the expressway at night in a drunken stupor and killed my whole family.

Maybe none of this has happened to you. So, do you forgive…

* your husband for having an affair?
* your best friend who lied about you?
* your mother-in-law who has never said a kind word to you or about you?

First and foremost, God forgives us…

The Word tells us that, in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Eph. 1:7a NKJV) That precious pouring out of His blood is as a veil of disappearance, leaving no trace of whatever we put under it.

When God forgives our sins, He removes them “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us,” (Ps. 103:12 NKJV) tossing them “into the depths of the ocean,” (Micah 7:19b TLB) never to emerge.

We forgive others…

We forget that forgiveness of others is not optional. No right relationship with God can prevail apart from forgiveness of others.

Jesus declared this in His Sermon on the Mount, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matt. 6:14-15 NLT)

He said that when one prays to first “forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25 NLT) Not forgiving or holding a grudge, as the saying goes, is like taking poison in the hope that the other person will die.

Forgiveness is a choice of the heart. So, if we don’t first forgive others, what are the consequences? If we do not forgive others, we destroy our flow of intimacy with the Lord and also hinder our prayers. The Bible says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (Ps. 66:18 NKJV)

We ask others to forgive us…

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matt. 5:23-24 NIV)

Leonardo daVinci learned a great lesson in forgiveness. While painting the Last Supper, daVinci had a bitter falling out with his assistant, who started it all because he had some burr under his saddle against daVinci. As daVinci painted the faces of the disciples, he came to the face of Judas and spitefully painted the face of his assistant.

When daVinci came to the last face to be painted, which was Jesus, he drew a blank. He could not put a face on Jesus. Then, God spoke to him and told him he must forgive his assistant. So daVinci went to him, crying and begging the man’s forgiveness. The assistant complied.

When daVinci removed the face of the assistant from Judas, he was then able to paint Jesus, for he clearly saw His face.

We forgive ourselves…

If God has forgiven us and forgotten our disobedience, then we cannot hang onto unforgiveness of ourselves. Since God keeps no catalog of past accounts, He has no eternal archive; therefore, we should not either. The only memory of it, then, is in our own minds, not God’s!

Do you have angry, old bones hidden away in the closet of your heart?

* How long does it take for you to forgive a hurt?
* How long will you be separated from the face of Jesus?
* How long does it take for you to ask another to forgive you?
* Do you cling to unforgiveness, victimizing myself as a form of self-abuse?
* Have you forgiven everyone of everything, or do you drag the unforgiveness of your past behind you in a little red wagon or maybe in a U-haul?

If our sins nailed Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross for our forgiveness, then why do we hold a grudge, offense, or unforgiveness in our hearts against our brother or sister, who has also been forgiven?

Lord, “forgive [me of my] sins, just as [I] have forgiven those who have sinned against [me].” (Matt. 6:12 NCV) And when I find it difficult to forgive, help me to be willing to forgive. As David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23a, 24 NIV)

Is forgiveness the choice of your heart?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~
17 Responses
  1. Yes. Thank You Father God. I pray others can find this forgiveness as well. Praise You God. In Jesus' name, amen.

  2. Lynn,

    I'm always blessed by what you have to say here. This post is no exception.

    It's funny, it seems I'm being flooded with information and wisdom and assignments concerning forgiveness. God blesses us with what we need when we need it to be able to do what he says do.

  3. LisaG Says:

    Forgiveness is something we must all learn to do otherwise we willl not be forgiven when our time comes. Great post.

    I hope you don't mind, I have a tag I would like you to take part in. Please visit my blog here on blogger and check it out. I would appreciate it.

  4. JoJo Tabares Says:

    I loved this post. Didn't know that about Di Vinci. These days forgiveness is often halted by being unwilling even to confront the other party to make sure an offense was intended.

  5. This was a great post. I love your blog.

    Forgiveness is for us, not the other person. They have moved on and are living life to the fullest and we sit around depressed and upset. That's not what God intended for us.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  6. WLS Says:

    Lynn. Seems I've been cold busted by a blog. How rude! :o)

    Seriously, this post got on my nerves the first 43 times I read it (okay, well, maybe a SLIGHT exaggeration)!

    I have been dealing with a huge betrayal very recently. And NOT dealing with it well. I have had fleeting thoughts (and not so fleeting) about exacting revenge MY way.

    I know that God says He will take care of it - and I'm supposed to leave it there - but I'm not finding it easy.

    This post just kind of put a mirror in my face. Gee, thanks.

    Seriously, THANK YOU, Lynn. I know I need to lay this down... I think what you wrote has helped me to begin that process.

    God bless you, my friend...

    Wanda Sanchez

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, Kimberly, for being so faithful. I deeply appreciate your comments. Blessings to you...

  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Dear Diane, God seems to do that, doesn't He? I'm so glad the Lord has used this to speak to you. Be blessed...

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    Lisa, Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. And thank you so much for the tag. I will try to post it soon. Blessings to you...

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    JoJo, You are so sweet to stop by and read my blog. Makes my heart happy! Bless you...

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, dear Wanda, I always pray that the Lord will use my words to touch at least one person's heart, if not more. I felt so led to post this and now I see why. It is so hard sometimes to forgive. May the Lord bless you as you work this out. Blessings to you...

  12. Jean Says:

    Hi, Lynn.

    I always enjoy reading your blog. Your posts are so well-written and insightful. Isn't it amazing when God speaks through the pens (or keyboards!) of His writers.

    God bless you!

  13. Erin Says:

    So beautifully written, Lynn. The power of forgiveness isn't known until you forgive. Then, and only then, it is so freeing! I have had to go thru the motions of forgiving someone and it took a while, but those motions became genuine eventually and I can honestly say that I care about that person now. Thank you for writing this!

  14. Great post, Lynn. I have learned that forgiveness is an action not a feeling. You make a CHOICE to love someone and be kind to them, even though they have not been kind to you. After you make that choice and act on it, the feelings of anger a betrayal begin to lessen and eventually as you continue to walk in the action of forgiveness the feelings will follow. Not an easy thing to do - but I think of all the Lord has forgiven me of and ask, "Can I do any less?"

    Thanks for a wonderful post.

    Also, a quick thanks for letting us inteview you over on AuthorCulture today. We appreciate you giving us your time. :)

  15. That was a great post Lynn. Thanks..I used to hold grudges for a long time. Not anymore..It's too heavy to carry around. The worse part is usually the other person doesn't even care or they have moved on. The one who is held captive by unforgiveness is us..not our offenders.

    Besides the fact that it's so heavy to carry around unforgiveness..I wouldn't want my prayer life hindered. We have to learn to allow the Lord to deal with our enemies or offenders. Lord help us all to be quick to forgive.

    Thanks again Lynn..

  16. Lynn! I just read your interview with Author Culture!!! It was awesome learning more about you!!! They couldn't have interviewed a more wonderful lady!!!!!

  17. Gigi Says:

    While indulging in my bubble bath I was thinking about what my next blog would be and two thoughts kept coming to my mind: Singing and forgiveness.

    You know some of my past and sometimes when people hear about what I endured they say, "I could never forgive. How can you forgive?" My answer: "Who am I to deny forgiveness to someone and then hope to stand before the Lord and beseech His forgiveness."

    Most Christians will never endure the trials that Christ endured and He did it with a purpose. To forgive a lost and dying world and buy them pardon and eternal life.

    I need to quit reading your entries before I post mine. This comment may appear in part of my blog too!

    I think you should write a book with all your thoughts and blogs. I'd be in line to buy it!

    ♥ the one and only Gigi girl ☺