Forgive & Forget

"Those who say they will forgive but can't forget,
simply bury the hatchet,
but leave the handle out for immediate us."
Dwight Lyman (D.L.) Moody

Forgive & Forget

READ Job 20:1-21:34

SITUATION Zophar joined Bildad in telling about the fate of the wicked. He assumed Job was a hypocrite.

OBSERVATION God may allow one person to live in prosperity and health and another to die unhappy and with a bitter heart. In death, however, both are alike. We can't guess their character based on their wealth or health.

INSPIRATION The key to forgiving others is to quit focusing on what they did and start focusing on what God did for you.

But, Max, that's not fair! Somebody has to pay, and Someone already has.

You don't understand. Max, this guy doesn't deserve grace. He doesn't deserve mercy. He's not worthy of forgiveness.

I'm not saying he is. But are you?

Besides, what other choice do you have? Hatred? The alternative is not appealing. Look what happens when we refuse to forgive, "The master was very angry and put the servant in prison to be punished until he could pay everything he owed" (Matthew 18:34).

Unforgiving servants always end up in prison. Prisons of anger, guilt, and depression. God doesn't have to put us in jail; we create our own.

Oh, the gradual grasp of hatred. It's damage begins like the crack in my windshield. Thanks to a speeding truck on a gravel road, my window was chipped. With time the nick became a crack, and the crack became a winding tributary. Soon the windshield was a spider web of fragments. I couldn't drive my car without thinking of the jerk who drove too fast. Though I've never seen him. He is some dead beat bum who cheats on his wife, drives with a six-pack on the seat, and keeps the television so loud his neighbors can't sleep. His carelessness blocked my vision. (Didn't do much for my view out of the windshield either.)

Ever heard the expression "blind rage"?

Let me be very clear. Hatred will sour your outlook and break you back. The load of bitterness is simply too heavy. Your knees will buckle under the stains, and your heart will break beneath the weight. The mountain before you is steep enough without the heaviness of hatred on your back. The wisest choice--the only choice--is for you to drop the anger. You will never be called upon to give anyone more grace than God has already given you.

During World War I, a German soldier plunged into an 0ut-of-the-way shell hole. There he found a wounded enemy. The fallen soldier was soaked with blood and only minutes from death. Touch by the plight of the man, the German soldier offered him water. Through this small kindness a bound was developed. The dying man pointed to his shirt pocket, the German soldier took from it a wallet and removed some family pictures. He held them so the wounded man could gaze at his loved ones one final time. With bullets raging over them and war all around them, these two enemies were, but for a few moments, friends.

What happened in that shell hole? Did all evil cease? Were all wrongs made right? No. What happened was simply this; Two enemies saw each other as humans in need of help. This is forgiveness. Forgiveness begins by rising above the war, looking beyond the uniform, and choosing to see the other, not as a foe or even as a friend, but simply a fellow fighter longing to make it home safely. (From In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado)

APPLICATION Are you harboring bitterness toward a friend, relative, or church member? Don't allow bitterness to spring up and destroy you (Hebrews 12:15). Not only will the bitterness eat you alive, it will also negatively impact your spiritual life. Ask God to give you the ability to remove any bitterness you may be feeling.

EXPLORATION Bitterness--Proverbs 14:10; 17:25; Isaiah 38:15; Ephesians 4:31.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing The Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

No comments:

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin