The Power of Forgiveness
June 11, 2019 | The Vineyard Church
Ever seen a moldy peach in a fruit bowl? The fuzzy fruit sports a different kind of fur — the green and gray kind. Usually, we whisk it away from the other fruit because we don’t want the mold to contaminate anything else. We even go so far as to wash the bowl.
I hurt. For years, I harbored anger toward my father. I let my feelings swell into bitterness, and that bitterness affected other areas of my life.
But God tells us to toss out the unforgiveness, to clean the bowl, in Colossians 3:13. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
So how did the Lord forgive us?
Jesus loved us — He came to Earth for us. He sacrificed for us, taking on a humble life and dying a degrading death, despite how we hurt Him with our sins. He prayed for us (John 17:20–23). He used the words, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus made forgiveness an act. Rather than passively stewing in His feelings, Jesus actively chose the path of forgiveness and followed it to death.
Corrie ten Boom, a concentration camp survivor, said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
What is the temperature of your heart? Is your fruit bowl contaminated with a destructive mold? Are you ready to choose?
It’s time to clean out your life and let the Lord of love fill you.
Tips to Help You Forgive
- Ask God to help. He is our Healer, our Comforter, and you will need His help to accomplish the hard things.
- Seek prayer.
See a member of the Healing Prayer Team and
he/she can walk you through healing prayer (as I did; this helped my forgiveness process immensely).
- Ask God to forgive the person who committed evil against you.
Even Jesus asked God to forgive those who were crucifying Him.
- Choose to pray for that person.
Pray through gritted teeth. Pray through clenched jaws. Do it, because it is impossible to hate those for whom you pray.
- Speak forgiveness out loud.*
“I forgive ______ for hurting me. Lord, bless him/her.” Doing this lets the enemy of your soul know that he cannot infect you anymore and declares to the Lord that you are pursuing His path.
- Beg God to place inside you the love He has for that person.
Because God does love him or her).
- Show love to the ones who’ve wronged you.
Jesus died on the cross for those who wronged Him. What small step can you take to show His love?
Sometimes feelings of bitterness resurface. Don’t let that mold resurge in your life. Work through the tips again, as needed, to keep your heart squeaky clean.
* Tread cautiously in actually telling others you forgive them (unless they have come to you seeking forgiveness). They may not believe or understand they have hurt you and this may cause even more anger or grief on either side