June 23, 2013

Learning to Forgive

During our recent Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration, our granddaughter, Jamie and I discussed the need to forgive those who offend us. When she returned to her home in Williamsburg, Virginia, Jamie forwarded this quote by Norman Vincent Peale apropos of our conversation:
Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold   these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you. 
In the Gospel of Matthew, Peter asks Jesus how many times we should forgive someone who offended us, “As many as seven?” And Jesus answers, “I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.”

These are the words of the Great Physician, a Mighty Counselor, who understood that forgiving someone’s offense against us relieves the emotional pain we experience when we are bitter and resentful.

But what if that bitterness and resentment is directed to God? For example, in times of tragedy, adversity and injustice, we sometimes blame God for our pain and disappointments.   

In her new book Conflict-Free Living, Joyce Meyer, charismatic Christian author and speaker, suggests that blaming God is a trap that Satan sets for us:
“God is not the trouble maker __the devil is. It is the world, the flesh and the devil that give us trouble __ not God.”
God doesn’t need forgiveness but If you are bitter toward Him, a condition Meyer refers to as a “spiritual roadblock,” release yourself from your resentment and forgive Him.

Relieve yourself of unnecessary pain and bitterness. Release unwanted hurts and ill will. Learn to forgive.