Thursday, September 3, 2015

Forgiveness, a Life and Death Matter

Scripture Text: 2 Corinthians 2

Forgiveness is something we offer to someone else not for their benefit but for ours. On the surface it might seem like the act of forgiveness is about the pardon we offer to another. Someone wrongs us and later we have the opportunity to forgive them. Forgiveness is not focused on what happens for the person we forgive.

Paul is clear about this when he is writing to the church in Corinth. Forgiveness and the schemes of Satan are put on opposite ends of the spectrum. When we do not extend forgiveness to other people, we make ourselves more open to the influence of Satan. Our inability to forgive another person does no damage to the other person, it is us that is damaged.

Before going any further we should be clear about a definition of forgiveness. Forgiveness is giving up a claim, rightful or otherwise, that we have against someone who has wronged us. When we forgive we are deciding to not live our lives holding a claim against someone else. No longer will what someone else has done to us take up rent space in our minds, lives and way of being. By the way, forgiveness does not mean we forget what the person has done, only we do not let that person have control in our lives any longer.

Unforgiveness is on the list of high-speed marriage killers. When we do not walk in forgiveness with our spouse, we can be sure only trouble and struggle are ahead for our marriage. Walking through marriage with a claim against our spouse will tear apart a relationship, and make it impossible to cultivate a healthy marriage.

Leaving the work of forgiveness undone leaves vast space for the work of Satan to influence our thoughts and actions. The evil schemes become captivating and we begin to exchange the reality of Christ for the fantasy of Satan. All of this rests on walking in forgiveness. That is why this matters so much. If there is any need to have extend or seek forgiveness in your marriage, do not delay, care for it before this day runs its course.

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