If love is the greatest (that phase was the heading in my Bible that introduced 1 Corinthians 13), then forgiveness, in my opinion, comes in as a very close “second.”
Why would I say that, you might be asking?
Because God is Love (see blog – the Bible’s View of God’s Love). He sent His Son to live and die for us so that we can be forgiven. Jesus, God’s son, taught on forgiveness and lived it out. From the cross Jesus is quoted as saying, “Father, forgive these people for they don’t know not what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 New Living Translation)
In a previous blog (Block #3 – Unforgiveness, 12/22/17), we looked at unforgiveness. The reality of Jesus words, as he taught His disciples about prayer, regarding forgiveness, if we don’t forgive we are not forgiven. Whew! We would stand before God unforgiven? Not a happy thought.
So, I will list the benefits of forgiveness. This will of course reflect my own experiences.
- I will stand before my God forgiven.
- I will not be giving the enemy of my soul, also known as Satan or the Devil, a place in my memories, and present life. Here is a quote that arrested my attention. “If you don’t forgive and you let the sun go down on your anger, you give the devil a playground as you sleep.” Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Redding, California.
- Freedom from the person that you are angry with and unable to forgive. When you don’t forgive it is as if they continue to be connected to you. Unforgiveness is like a noose around your neck and every time you think of the offense it gets tighter and tighter.
- Forgiveness is a gift of love you give, even undeserved
- Joy because you are free. Free to be you!
Some one once said, “To not forgive is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”