Luke 17:3-4 (ESV) "Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, "I repent, " you must forgive him." Whoa! If we're all honest this is a difficult task to achieve. I'm not saying that we can't be successful when following the word, but what I am saying, "It's not easy." (Honesty is my policy.) However, there are great benefits in the following the ways of God's word. Throughout the scriptures, the Bible tells us if we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive. I'll repeat this statement as an exercise of muttering, "If we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive." Forgiveness takes you completely out of the selfish motives of how you feel, even if you have a right to feel as you feel. For instance, you may have been hurt in a relationship, someone may have taken something of value from you, you may have been openly shamed and ridiculed, someone may have told you the biggest lie, and the list goes on and on. Yes, you have a right to be angry when you have been hurt, rejected, abused, misused, abandoned, neglected, name assassinated,etc, BUT the Bible tells us not to sin in this state. How do we release all of the anger so we can go through the process of forgiveness? 1. Be honest about your anger. Although God knows ALL, we can honestly go to Him and tell Him that we need help in this area of where we may be emotionally. Anger MUST be dealt with, because ignoring it will lead to other emotions, such as: bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, and sickness. WE MUST ASK GOD TO GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO LET IT GO. Let me encourage someone today, "With Gods help, you can release all anger before an ALMIGHTY GOD." Inhale. Now exhale. Say to God, "I no longer want to hold on to this feeling of anger. I stand in your presence right now, and I let it go." I want you to repeat, "I let it go" until you begin to feel freedom in your spirit. This may happen with many tears, but allow them to come. Just release in His presence. 2. Walk in humility. Trust me, this is such a an act of humility. It really is. The Bible tells us, "Humble YOURSELVES, in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." In other words, we have a responsibility. This scripture tells us to humble ourselves. This responsibility is not place on God...it's ours. Once we have made a decision to walk in the state, it is then and only then will the LORD lift us. He will lift us from anger. He will lift us from shame. He will lift us from the horrible pit. He will LIFT US, but we must be willing to walk in a LOW place. Again, it's a difficult request, but there are such GREAT benefits that may come from it. 3. Forgive. WHAT IF GOD HADN'T FORGIVEN US OF OUR SINS? The Bible tells us that we have ALL sinned and fallen short of His glory. He also said, that if we say we have not sinned, then we are a lie. We have ALL had to ask God's forgiveness; because we have fallen short of His glory. Rather these were sins done by omission or commission, we have had to ask for forgiveness. Thank God for His grace! However, the grace of God commands us to walk in GRACE and to show GRACE to all who may have sinned against us. The only way we can walk in true forgiveness is to REMEMBER..."GOD FORGAVE ME!" I've always said, "Forgiveness is a choice, forgetting is a process." It's not easy to forget what was done, but it's necessary to forgive for it. Okay, Lady T I hear you, BUT... they can't continue to hurt me and I continue to forgive. Well, according to Luke 17:3-4, we must. We must remove the conjunction and begin to function in the way of the Lord. FORGIVE, Let it GO, and LIVE!!! Father, I pray for every person reading this article today. Give them the desire to be more like you. You are the epitome of what forgiveness looks like. Thank you for forgiving us of ALL of our sins and trespasses, even those we tried to hide. Our desire is to please you. Deal with our hearts so that we no longer walk in unforgiveness, but we begin today taking the necessary steps to show forgiveness to those who have sinned against us. We humble ourselves before you God, so that you can lift us from this place. In Jesus' might name. Amen.
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