Have you ever had a disagreement with someone that you tried to resolve but they just wouldn’t let it go? If you’re breathing and have a heart beat, the answer is probably yes. There is much teaching in the Bible about this type of situation and how it should be handled by each responsible party. So why don’t we follow that guidance like we follow other parts of the Bible. I’m pretty certain we aren’t allowed to just pick and choose which parts we will live by and which parts we just will skim over because they make us uncomfortable. We are told that if we have wronged someone -a brother or sister in Christ-we are to go to them, confess our wrongs, and ask for forgiveness. Okay God…what happens when we do that, in all sincerity, with true remorse, and that person refuses to forgive? Colossians 3:13 tells us to “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” This is not just a recommendation guys. There is a “must” in there. My husband is such a Godly leader of our home, and he is so disciplined at diving into God’s word. And he is a thinker. Lately his saying has been “You either believe, or you don’t believe.” Seems like a simple statement…but it’s really insightful. Do you believe that God created the heavens and earth? Do you believe in a guy named Jonah who lived in the belly of a fish for three days? Do you believe in Lazarus who was raised from the dead? If we believe any of this, we must believe all of it. And if we believe, then we must follow, trust and obey. Now, are we all going to be perfect? No way. But we should be trying every day to walk in the light, as He is in the light. We must listen and be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Asking for forgiveness is a hard thing. Forgiving is hard too. Trying to take the high road and accept that someone whom you have gone to in love and asked for forgiveness may simply NOT forgive is even harder. Who are you refusing to forgive? How tightly are you holding onto that grudge? We cannot let these things become stumbling blocks in our walk of faith. If you are holding that grudge, let it go. Stop carrying that weight around and forgive. “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 If you are the one who has been shunned by another…pray for that person. Jesus tells us…”But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
God, please forgive us when we let our pride get in the way and refuse to forgive others. Lord help us if we are holding grudges, help us to let go. Lord let us learn to forgive others even when they won’t forgive us. We know your Word is holy and divine God. Help us to remember that it is not up to us to choose which parts of it to follow. Guide us in our walk with you and give us the strength to live the abundant life you have promised us. In the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.