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In today's world, we have opportunity to be offended every day, many times a day. Even before getting to work in the morning, the devil will send someone in your path to offend you, maybe cutting you off in traffic. And of course, your immediate response is "Bless them Lord!" right? Yeah, right. Maybe "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do!" is closer?

Well, whatever your response, the devil is at work to get you offended. It is written in Matthew 18:7, "Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"

Would your response be your own version of Matthew 18:8 "Wherefore if the driver next to thee offend thee, cut them off and cast them from thee?"

What the devil doesn't tell you, is that when you get offended, you are the loser!

The Fruit Of Unforgiveness
You don't have to look very far to see the fruits of unforgiveness. Look at anyone who has been through a divorce and has a bitter relationship with their "ex." If they meet in Wal-Mart by accident, you might as well run to Lawn & Garden and grab a lawn chair and buy some popcorn and something to drink, because there's gonna be a prize fight!

Or if you're faint of heart, run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. And run in a zig-zag so as to lessen your chances of being hit by flying objects as you leave.

If it weren't for offences, we wouldn't have any wars, or even rumors of war. Armies would be obsolete, not to mention nuclear weapons. Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a world where everyone forgives?

Well, someday you will, if you forgive. Because if you don't, you'll never get to live in heaven, where there is no offence.

Many ask God for the ability to forgive. I'm glad they see the importance of forgiving others, for in the "Lord's Prayer," it is written, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." Matthew 6:14-15 says, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Anyone who thinks they will get into heaven with unforgiveness in their heart is in for a big disappointment.

Once we have asked Jesus to forgive our sins, they are forgiven. But from that point on, we are expected to forgive others. And due to the grace of the forgiveness of our own sins, we have no excuse not to forgive others.

It is an act of our own will to forgive others. God will not make us do so, but we will suffer the consequences if we do not. Let's read about it in Matthew:
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him a hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. (his debt was reinstated!) So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
(Matt. 18:23-35)
Forgive Out Of Gratitude
I have learned to forgive, if nothing else, out of gratitude for what Jesus did for me. What anyone has ever done to me, even though to me it may have been a big thing, is in reality small dust on the scale in comparison to what I have sinned against God.

When you choose to forgive, it must often be done by faith, telling God that you choose by your will to forgive that person, so that you may show the love of God to others.

It may not be easy to forgive, but God never said everything would be easy for us. He just said He would empower us to do whatever He commands us to do. So therefore, you already have the power to forgive others, whether it seems so by your "feelings" or not.

Copyright © Life Healing Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jerry Baysinger
Web site: Life Healing Ministries
Jerry Baysinger was a twenty-one-and-a-half-year civilian employee of Missouri State Highway Patrol and operator of his own successful furniture repair business, when in 1993, he was diagnosed with five melanomas and liver cancer. Given a month to live, he resigned from the Patrol and went home to die.

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