"Hurting people hurt people." - Unknown
Whoever said that is very wise. Oh, God has been doing so much in my heart this weekend. All talking about forgiveness and unforgiveness and love. God has got me all around. Through His Word, blog postings, books, my pastor! God is moving! In His Word it says,
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." - Matthew 6:14
and then in the next verse it says...
"But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, niether will your Father forgive your trespasses." - vs. 15
I thought I had forgiven someone who hurt me. I thought it was in the past. I realized that there was still some unforgiveness in that area. But then this weekend God being the INCREDIBLE God He is :) has shown me several times that if I do not forgive, then I will not be forgiven. Why? Because He forgives us even though we definitely do not deserve it. He's shown us mercy. In turn we as His children and followers are to show that same mercy to the people around us even if we don't think they deserve it, even when we've been hurt so deeply all we see is pain. Because as we know, God shows us grace and mercy we do not deserve and His Son went through the most gruesome, painful death ever so we could be forgiven. Think about that.
The world does not forgive. And if they do, not easily at all. We know that. We as Christians are not to be of this world. That's the difference between a follower of Christ and the world. 1 John 3:10 says,
"In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." (Emphasis mine.) Do you get that? We are not of God if we don't follow His Word and put it into practice and love our brother.
This has hit me really hard and made me realize a few things. As I was thinking and praying about everything... God told me, "Forgive them as I have forgiven you. I know you were hurt, but do remember its because they are hurting. Doesn't make it right, but as My follower you are to love no matter what. Show them My love."
Forgiveness has been given. I don't care how I was hurt or what was done, I am to forgive because Jesus Christ paid for me to be forgiven. I cannot, must not, hold a grude or unforgiveness towards anyone. As my pastor said this morning, "If we have true love for God, then we will forgive and follow His commandments. We will want to please Him." Let your love for God drive you. Pursue Him. Because true love for God is obeying Him and following His Word even when it's hard. Forgiving someone who may not do the same if it was the other way around. Loving someone even when you've been hurt badly. Letting go of something done in the past because you want to move forward to the present and what things God has for you. Forgive and move forward into the life God has planned for you.