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Image          Why is forgiveness so hard sometimes?  If you are like me, you have struggled with the answer to this question.   Let’s get down to brass tax, because it seems as if all that some people want to do is tear you down, wreck your day, ruin your fun,  ruin the holidays, or simply just make your life hectic.  Let’s face it…when someone wrongs you in some way, you both share the load of the wrongdoing, the pain and hurt of it weighs on both of you.  Forgiveness is having the courage to bear the full weight of it all on your own and letting the other person off the hook.  Do you have the courage to bear the burden on your own?  AND…do you have the strength to ultimately get rid of the burden for both of you?  The answer to that question is not all that hard if you look towards Jesus for the answer.  Yes, it took me a while to finally realize that but once I placed my full trust in our Savior…forgiveness was easy!  Ultimately, I realized that He had forgiven me in that same way and had taken the burden of that forgiveness all on His shoulders.  Looking at Ephesians 4:31-32, we see a clear picture of what we are supposed to do….

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

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          Sure go ahead and be a skeptic; saying there is no one you need to forgive. You might go as far as to say you have no anger, no bitterness, no grudge, no rage, never neglected, haven’t slandered, or have no malice towards anyone you have ever met.   STOP RIGHT THERE!!!!  Think hard and I promise you there is at least one instance you have wronged someone in some way.  

              This would be the point to my entire post…CAN YOU SHOULDER THE BURDEN OF FORGIVENESS!!!  We really don’t need to look any further than Matthew 6:14-15 to see why it’s so important for us to be able to shoulder the burden of forgiveness because in the end it really isn’t a burden but a form of peace and part of the pathway to our eternity in Heaven.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

           

            Take that step today.  Call your relative, your friend, coworker, old college buddy, or high school friend and do your part to make amends to that strained relationship.  It’s never too late to do the right thing.  I’ll go as far as to say that I bet you will feel better for trying.  If they are not willing to listen or acknowledge your olive branch…well, you’ve done all you can do and in God’s eyes you have released your burden by forgiving them.  I always push for everyone who reads my posts to enjoy life…one of the key ingredients to a happy life is a forgiving life.

Thanks to my wonderful wife Tracey for giving me the inspiration for this post…I love you.

As always be blessed and be a blessing

Pastor Mike

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