We have all known them. Many of us have worked under or with them. Some of us have lived with or are related to them. Some of us ARE them.
Some of the most difficult people to get along with are those who for one reason or another live their lives with a 500 pound chip on their shoulder. The person who refuses to let go of injustice, unfairness, unrighteousness or any wrong done to them by anyone will find that huge chip weighing them down.
The only way not to become one of those unpleasant people who are always negative, constantly complaining or just plain unpleasant to be around is to FORGIVE. Forgiveness opens the doors to manifesting the love of God and closes the doors to all the ugly aspects of being wronged. Until and unless we are willing to forgive others of things they did to us, we will never be able to fully appreciate what God has forgiven us of.
Some people who refuse to forgive become negative, grouchy and a general pain to be around. Other people get angry, bitter and seek revenge. Then there are those people who appear to be “over it” but in reality their lack of forgiveness is eating them alive from inside out. Lack of forgiveness is a cancer that eats away at a person’s ability to live, give and love.
So much of the message Jesus Christ came to announce dealt with forgiveness. Many aspects of the Sermon on the Mount revolve around forgiveness. The “Lord’s Prayer” has at its very heart forgiveness. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” is not merely a phrase but represents the very heart of our Christian faith.
Without forgiveness, we are led into the temptations of retaliation, revenge, anger, bitterness, negativity or self pity; all of which result in broken fellowship with God, a broken life and a broken spirit. Without forgiveness we yield to the temptation of rendering evil for evil. Without forgiveness we are no better than those we refuse to forgive.
Contrary to what most people think, forgiveness is the mark of a REAL man or woman. Being mean, angry or violent are marks of a coward who is not strong enough to forgive and forget. Christ forgave those who betrayed, denied, tortured and crucified Him. If Christ could manifest such forgiveness can we not do the same toward those who have hurt our feelings, abused our trust, trashed our reputation or even ruined our lives?
Any weak and small person can be consumed by anger, rage, bitterness or revenge because of what has happened in their lives. Only someone manifesting the love of Christ can rise up above these things and through forgiveness show the world the heart and love of our Savior Jesus Christ and what He gave His life for.