Devotionals
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April 4, 2017, 5:00 AM

Forgiveness is hard isn’t it?


Forgiveness is hard isn’t it, especially when we have the right to be upset?  Think about the story of Esau and Jacob.  Jacob betrayed Esau in a mighty way, he took everything from Esau. And after that betrayal Jacob hit the road.  Then one day Jacob decides to come back and Esau just forgives him. 

 

“Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.” Genesis 33:1-4

 

Have you ever wondered what thought processes Esau went through to get to this place of forgiveness?  I try to imagine what would happen in today’s world if something like this happened to anyone of us.  I mean think about how something like what Jacob did to Esau would go in today’s world.  Today’s world is about seeking our own vengeance and payback instead of forgiveness.  I have to be honest with you in the fact that there was a time that had someone ripped me off like that I am certain that I wouldn’t have been so quick to forgive and forget, but God’s done a lot of work in my heart when it comes to this area too.  I’m still learning to forgive without holding any kind of grudge at all.  I can honestly say that I’m getting better at forgiving like God has forgiven me, but sometimes it’s a struggle to not hold on to the hurt.

 

Why do we hold onto hurt? I think it because we don't look at forgiveness correctly. We judge ourselves from a horizontal stance when we should be judging ourselves from a vertical one. You see, we think things like, “I'm not so bad compared to them.” We think our sins aren't as bad as someone else's, but in the eyes of God they are all the same.  I don’t know about anyone else’s life, but when it comes to mine, I know exactly what I’ve done in my life.  Therefore there’s no right or reason for me to ever point a finger at someone else to say that at least I didn’t do what they’ve done, because what God’s forgiven and given me grace for is just as bad.  I needed the grace, mercy, and Blood of Jesus to cleanse me just as much as anyone else.

 

Jesus Christ was the only perfect person and will be the only perfect person ever. When we measure ourselves in light of his standard, we will always fall short. No matter how big or how small we think our sins may be, without a Savior they still separate us from God. You don’t need anyone's participation or permission to forgive them. Forgiving someone is the most self-loving thing you can do, because forgiveness is for you, not the other person.

 

This is my Prayer:  Heavenly Father I don’t want to hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness. Lord if there’s any of that in my life reveal it to me and help me to let it go. Jesus give me a heart like Yours. Help me to get to a place where I extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness as quickly, as easily, and as completely as You do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen


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