One of the most profound ways a born again believer in Jesus Christ can impact others is to follow God’s command to love our enemies. This is one of the hardest things to do. It takes supernatural strength because we are unable to forgive on our own.
C.S. Lewis (one of my favorite authors) wrote, “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”
Forgiveness is not: Excusing something someone did to you Forgetting what happened Denying your feelings Reconciling instantly every time (Dennis Rainey in Family Life Today)
Forgiveness does mean: Willfully choosing to forgive the offender and laying the offenses at God’s feet. Praying that God will bless the offender by drawing him into the Kingdom. Giving up our right to revenge and asking God to take care of the situation.
Father God, forgiving one’s enemies is impossible without Your help. Please help me to understand how much you gave up for me when You died on the cross. Help me to get rid of my own hypocrisy and humbly seek You; especially when I am wronged. Also, please forgive me for when I wrong others. Thank you that when I choose to forgive (with Your help), I am actually releasing myself from prison; not the offender. Amen.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...” Matthew 5:43-45