In this world of fast-paced lifestyles, computers in our pockets, selfies, social media, and the hordes of other things I could mention, its really easy to get so wrapped up in living day-to-day that we forget how to live the life we were given. We forget that each of us is called to do something special, and something that only we can do, for Gods glory! ( PS. This living life thing is why its been about 3 months since I last blogged.)
But in a world that is mostly centered around ourselves, our families, our jobs, our wants, and our desires… where does OUR God fit in? We get so busy making a life, keeping up a life style and trying to have what everyone else has, we forget that we are on a journey that is uniquely ours. It is what God has in store for us. It is our plan, our path, and at times, our burden to carry.
I am fortunate enough to be from a small little community nestled in the mountains and valleys of West Virginia, a place of about 7000 people in the whole county, one stop light, one high school, and about 80 + Churches. I know people from all walks of life. I have seen those with lots of faith, lose it. I have seen those with little faith, grow to become seekers of the Lord and his word. I have also seen miracles. I know an amazing young woman who right now is battling cancer, yet she still holds on to God with all she has, knowing that he is the one who is fighting the battle with her. I have seen a community come together in times of need… fires, floods, super storms… people who care enough about their neighbors to hold cake-walks, spaghetti dinners, benefit sings, and any number of other fund-raisers to show that we as a community hold fast to ” Love your neighbor as yourself”.
But… do we?
Do we love our neighbor as ourselves when we find petty things to fight about? When we hold decade old grudges? When dislike the woman who stole our boyfriend in freshman year? No. That is where we fall short.
So why is forgiveness so important?
Matthew 6:14 says “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
The Lords Prayer ” Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”
Mark 11:25 ” And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins”.
See, we HAVE to forgive others. Its a requirement. Its HARD. Its humbling. And it’s Christ- like.
The book of Luke ( 23:34) tells us that Jesus said ” Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”
I’m going to take that scripture personally for a minute… Jesus, had MY sins on him when he was on that cross… mine. ” Father, forgive her, for she knows not what she does”. I was in church from the time I was a 4 days old, and still, I have sinned, I have fallen, I have contributed to the cost that Jesus had to pay. I did that. I, knowing who Jesus was, and what he did for me, and how much he loved me, I still denied him. I still rebelled against him, I still was part of the reason that he was crucified.
And he has FORGIVEN me. He went to bat for me. He asked his father in heaven to forgive me. And YOU. Take that scripture, take then ends of all of the four gospels and read about his sacrifice. Read about his death. Read about his torture. Read about the mocking. And then ask yourself….
What is my problem forgiving others? Why am I holding on to hurt? Why am I so quick to throw a stone when someone wrongs me? Why am I not holding on to one of the core values of what it is to be Christ- like?
Because I am selfish.
That’s the only possible answer. I’m selfish. I care more about my own feelings, my own hurt, and my own pride than I do about grace. I expect grace to be given to cover my transgressions, but I will not show grace to my transgressors.
Well personally, this is something I’m striving to change in myself. I have worked on forgiveness a lot. But there is always, and will always be room for improvement. Do I have the faith, the grace, the brotherly love to forgive those who will never apologize? Do I have enough of Christs love in me to forgive the unthinkable? When someone hurts my pride, do I have enough Jesus in me to be humble, to be kind, and to forgive? I sure hope so.
In my life, I have had to forgive lots of times. I have had personal battles, I have had to fight my personal demons, I have had to forgive people who have wronged my loved ones. I had to accept that some people are not going to like me, or what i say, or what I do. And that’s up to them. But its up to me to love them. To show them kindness, to eat humble pie now and then, and to give more love than I receive.
I encourage you to find the scriptures on Christs love and sacrifice, to search and seek the scriptures on forgiveness, and to pray for those who wrong you, they may need it the most.
“Always be Kind, Everyone is fighting a battle you know NOTHING about”
Peace and Love yall!
❤ Holly Lynn