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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1633

 Forgiveness, Bitterness and Christian Living

Disclaimer: Sin still rages in my heart. I like to pretend that I am fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus, but He knows and I know I am not. I'm the least qualified person to speak on the topic I'm about to address.

"Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors."
"Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us."
"Pursue peace with all men, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Be careful that no one falls short of the grace of God, so that no root of bitterness will spring up to cause trouble and defile many."

Very briefly, I want to encourage us all to keep short accounts of wrongdoing with others. Have short memories on wrongs suffered. Ask the Holy Spirit to form in you a heart that lets go easily of wrongs done to you. It may be extremely taxing on you and you may struggle with it for years, but please consciously surrender yourself to the process of transformation in this regard.

Lack of forgiveness, or failing to address bitterness, is destructive. It destroys your relationships, it destroys fellowship in the Body of Christ, it may altogether stop the operation of gifts of the Spirit through you for the edification of others.

Bitterness can contribute to actual physical illness, and that illness can, in turn, exacerbate your hardened heart and mind toward others whom you have not forgiven. In short, bitterness and unforgiveness is a trap. A snare. A defiler.

Presently, I observe a number of people I know who are trapped in varying degrees of bitterness and unforgiveness. It wreaks havoc on them spiritually, and in one instance has been so devastating as to make me fear for one's eternity.

If you are in a fellowship -- home, Sunday brick and mortar church, informal prayer group, whatever the structure -- do yourself a favor. Ask your brothers or sisters to keep you in check about unforgiveness and bitterness.

Aside from the fact that we are biblically commanded to forgive and biblically commanded to not withhold forgiveness, aside from the positive obligations that belong to us all on this, do we not long for that gentleness and malleableness of heart and mind that causes the slightest provocations of the Spirit and convictions of the Word to move us toward one another in true love? How can I truly be yielded to my brothers and my sisters in the Body, how can I truly be subject to the Head (Jesus) if I harbor the smallest or largest of hurts against forgiveness?

Please pray on this in your own life and family. Please forgive freely. It matters so very much, and even more now than ever.


 2016/8/22 11:35Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5587

 Re: Forgiveness, Bitterness and Christian Living

Good word Tim.

I have been blessed with the gift of not being easily offended- and yes I believe it is a gift- so I personally have not struggled in this area- yet. It is certainly possible that I may some day.

I listened to a really good teaching one time called "Refuse to be Offended" that was very insightful. Because if you can refuse to be offended in most cases there is nothing to forgive.

Offenses are either 1) unintentional or 2) intentional.

If #1 then it is rather silly to be offended. If #2, and you are offended, you are giving the person trying to offend you power over your emotions and relationship with God. Why would you want to grant such power to someone who intentionally wants to offend you?


 2016/8/22 11:46Profile

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