I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme that comes up whenever I talk with my family about “forgiveness.”
The ones I’ve talked to about forgiveness always say they could never forgive someone if they harmed someone they love. They say they would HATE that person. Some said they would even like to kill that person.
Two passages come to my mind every time I hear someone say they couldn’t forgive someone who does something horrible…
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:14-15
“Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.” -1 John 3:14b-15
Jesus is very clear. If you don’t forgive someone who sins against you, then our heavenly Father will not forgive you. Jesus isn’t saying you’ll like it. He’s not saying you have to be best friends with the person, but you do have to forgive.
Even John says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.”
Wowzers! Sounds pretty clear to me, no?
Well, on Friday, my uncle and I were talking about Jesus and the Bible and we started talking about forgiveness. And guess what he said?! He said if something happened to me or anyone in the family, or his friends, he would never be able to forgive that person.
I referred him to scripture, but he said he knows he needs to forgive, but he wouldn’t be to do it.
So the rest of that night and Saturday it really got me thinking. And this verse popped in my head, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18
How could you give thanks in all circumstances, especially some horrible act done against someone you love?
The only thing I could think and what I can start telling people is… If someone did something horrible to me and it ended in my death, forgive them and give thanks to our Father in Heaven that it happened to me and not someone who isn’t saved.
Really… What else could be said?
Now go out and be a Light in the World!