Angel Food Ministries @ Live Oak Baptist Church

Changing Lives for Jesus, One Box at a Time!

The Real Reason We Need to Forgive Others April 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chandra Martin, LOBC Angel Food Coordinator @ 6:52 PM
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I got an email today that had a very moving message that sparked some thought on my part.  Yeah, scary, I know!

Anyway, how difficult is it for you to forgive someone who wrongs you?  For me, it’s fairly difficult most of the time.  I wouldn’t consider myself a grudge-holder, but forgiveness doesn’t come easy, either.  Isn’t it funny how we want to be forgiven by people we do wrong, but don’t want to forgive others that do something to us?

I thought I’d share this email with you all, with the hope that it gives you a new perspective on forgiveness.

One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods.  As he thought about his life, he knew many things were not right.  He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had  stolen his things and cheated him.  He remembered family that had passed on..  His mind turned to the illness he had, that no one could cure.  His very soul was filled with anger, resentment, and frustration.

Standing there, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the One he knew would always be there.  And with tears in his eyes, he prayed:

‘Lord,You have done wonderful things for me in this life.  You have told me to do many things for You, and I happily obeyed. Today, You have told me to forgive.  I am sad, Lord, because I cannot.  I don’t know how.  It is not fair, Lord.  I didn’t deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn’t have to forgive.  As perfect as Your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don’t know how to forgive.  My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear You, but I pray You teach me to do the one thing I cannot do:  Teach me to forgive.’

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder.  He opened his eyes.  Out of the corner of one eye, he saw something red  on his shirt.  He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the ground.  He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them.

He raised his head more and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross.  He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head.   Finally, he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man’s tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

‘Have you ever told a  lie?’  He asked?

The man answered – ‘Yes, Lord.’

‘Have you ever been given too much  change and kept it?’

The man answered – ‘Yes, Lord.’  And the man sobbed more and more.

‘Have you ever taken something from work that wasn’t yours?’ Jesus asked.

And the man answered, ‘Yes,  Lord.’

‘Have you ever sworn, using my Father’s name in vain?’

The man, crying now, answered – ‘Yes, Lord.’

As Jesus asked many more times,  ‘Have you ever..’?  The man’s crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer – ‘Yes, Lord’.

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder.  He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love such as the man had never seen or known before.

Jesus said, ‘I didn’t deserve this either, but I forgive you.’

It may be hard to see how you’re going to get through something, but when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is.

Read the following first line slowly and let it sink in.

If God brings you to it – He will bring you through it.

When Jesus died on the cross, He was thinking of you!

(original author unknown)

Now, we all know that we should forgive because we are forgiven, but doesn’t reading the above quote put it in a little clearer perspective?  I know it does for me.  Trust me, forgiveness is not nearly as painful for us as it was for Jesus.


2 Responses to “The Real Reason We Need to Forgive Others”

  1. wellwateredgarden Says:

    If we do not forgive, willingly, then we cannot be forgiven. Sounds simple enough.

    Selfish? Of course … but necessary.

    Jesus is our wonderful example. Imagine if, when Jesus asked His Father, in the Garden of Gethsemane, if the cup of torture and death could pass Him by, and God had said, sure.

    Imagine Jesus going back to heaven without having done the very thing He came to do. Totally unthinkable!

    So is forgiveness … totally unthinkable for us who believe and are Christ followers.

    The way I see it, anyway …

  2. Very good point. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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