Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

08/22/2018

Randall Caselman

 

Forgive And Be Forgiven

 

  Forgiveness is a major component, a major element in our faith. Without it life would be uncomfortable to say the least, we would be guilty and lost. Try to imagine what your world would be like today if there was no such thing as forgiveness.

 

  You would be amazed to know how many people are struggling with some element of forgiveness. Either they are seeking forgiveness from God or others, or they are unable or unwilling to forgive or accept forgiveness. Truth is, when we understand and apply Biblical principles of forgiveness, life is better, and our relationship with God is correct.

 

Matthew 6.12-15 has Jesus teaching us to pray: Forgive our sins, as we forgive others. "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

 

Mark 11.25 reads: "When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

 

Colossians 3.13 says: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another, forgive as the Lord forgave you."

 

  How can we read these Scripture and not understand that:

 

• We are under command to forgive...

• Forgiveness is a choice we make...

• Forgiveness is a personal issue... No one can do it for us.

• We will be forgiven in direct proportion to the way we forgive.

• No one must do anything in order for us to forgive them.

• Thus, it only takes one to forgive... And that’s us.

 

  Forgiveness is a personal choice on our part to release the hurt, the pain, anger, hate, bitterness, the hard feelings we harbor toward another person. Indeed, this attitude and behavior is totally within our control. On the cross, Jesus forgave without the permission or the forgiven's acceptance of His forgiveness. Let us be like Him, amen?

 

  The story is told about Leonardo da Vinci who painted what we know as "The Last Supper." At the time, Leonardo was in a feud with another painter, an enemy with whom he was having a bitter argument. Da Vinci literally despised this individual. When he got ready to paint the face of Judas Iscariot at the table with Jesus, he used the face of his enemy so that people through the ages would see this man as the Judas he was. As da Vinci worked on the faces of Jesus and the other disciples, he couldn't seem to get it right. In time he realized what was wrong; his hatred for the other painter was holding him back from finishing the face of Jesus. Only after making peace with his fellow painter and repainting the face of Judas was he able to paint the face of Jesus and complete his masterpiece.

 

  Sometimes, life may seem uncomfortable, we feel guilty, unforgiven, in spite of our prayerful confessions. Perhaps the reason we are having such a hard time accepting God’s forgiveness is because we’re finding it hard to forgive others. Listen, if we want our relationship with Jesus to be all that it should be, and could be, Forgive And Be Forgiven!

 

—Randall Caselman