LIKE DRINKING POISON, by Nancy DeMoss in THE QUIET PLACE leads off with Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Hating someone or not forgiving someone would be like drinking poison and hoping someone else would die. Really, that is a bit foolish.
But we do it all the time. I hear people tell stories of past offences like it happened yesterday and it was 20 years ago. In most cases the offending person doesn’t even know that they offended someone and it is still being held against them.
And what happens if you do know and you apologize and ask for forgiveness and none comes? That person is doing all they know to make something right but……. People really like to hold on to the offences almost like by not talking to someone you can make them pay. Makes no sense.
God calls us to forgive regardless of what the person’s response is. We do it for ourselves, not the other person. We do it so we can stand unashamed before our heavenly Father so we can experience God’s grace and mercy for our own sins.
Only God’s way – the way of forgiveness- holds out any hope of healing and rescue from the inveitable troubles we face in this life. And only those who walk this way will experience the reality of God’s grace and mercy off their own sins.