CHURCH LEADERS published a solid article today about the importance of forgiveness! We’ve all been emotionally hurt in some way, whether by spousal betrayal, behind-your-back criticism, misguided judgments by someone at church or at work, etc.  It seems that the deeper the hurt, the more difficult it becomes to forgive.  In fact, our hearts can be overtaken with resentment and/or a desire for the “offender” to fail or to be hurt.

When we are hurt and refuse to forgive, our minds can be affected in very negative ways.  If we harbor ill will and fail to forgive those who have trespassed or sinned against us, it’s all too easy to ruminate about the offense, which reinforces the negative emotions (hardening our hearts), and perhaps even worse, may lead us into a state of “schadenfreude.”

The German word schadenfreude describes the secret pleasure we feel when we see those who have hurt us experience misfortune themselves (which is sinful, prideful, and may border on witchcraft).  It’s the opposite of praying for your enemies, which Jesus commanded us to do.

The CHURCH LEADERS article may be read HERE.

Schadenfreude is defined by Merriam-Webster HERE.

My brothers and sisters, here are some thoughts and scripture regarding forgiveness!

Forgiveness Promotes A Healthy Mind

The bible is clear that wishing harm and having ill will toward another is wrong.  Period.  It opens the door to evil for both ourselves and those for whom we are speaking or thinking against.  We are not to rejoice, gloat or become self-righteous when our enemy falls.

Proverbs 24:16-17 (Amplified Bible)
“For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, [b]ut the wicked stumble in time of disaster and collapse.  Do not rejoice and gloat when your enemy falls, [a]nd do not let your heart be glad [in self-righteousness] when he stumbles…”.

God’s Forgiveness Is Essential To Our Salvation

The importance of forgiveness cannot be overstated.  If it were not for the Lord’s willingness to forgive us of our sin, we’d all be lost to perdition!  Our God is loving, faithful and just.  As we confess our sin and believe upon the name of Jesus, we are saved, forgiven and have eternal life.  The Lord is our example that we should forgive others.

Psalm 86:5 (NKJV)
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, [a]nd abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God’s Forgiveness Heals Our Land

God hears the prayers of His children and when we humble ourselves and seek forgiveness, even for our land (e.g., our nations), He is faithful to forgive.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Forgiving Others Is Commanded Of Us By Jesus

The bible makes it clear that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that we cannot be saved (born again) based on our own earthly or fleshly works – but only by the blood of the Lamb, as a matter of grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  So, how much more should we be willing to forgive others who trespass against us – especially compared to the incredible sin Jesus has forgiven us?  Who are we to hold back forgiveness after the price Jesus paid for our redemption?

Luke 17:3-4 (NKJV)
“Take heed to yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Forgiving Others Is Key To Being Forgiven By God

Scripture makes it clear that being forgiven means we should extend this grace to others as we walk in the love of Christ.  How ungrateful it would be to do otherwise!

Matthew 6:14-15 (NKJV)
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

The Importance Of Forgiveness Is Part Of “The Lord’s Prayer”

Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)
The Lord’s Prayer
“In this manner, therefore, pray:  Our Father in heaven, [h]allowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done [o]n earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts [trespasses], [a]s we forgive our debtors [those who trespass against us].  And do not lead us into temptation, [b]ut deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.”

If you would like some additional commentary about forgiveness, Got Questions has an informative article which may be read HERE.

There is no shame in forgiveness.  In fact, it’s one of the most loving and biblical things a believer is commanded to do!

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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