FORGIVING AND FORGETTING
Forgive: charizomai khar-id-zom-ahee Strongs 5483 pardon, forgive, freely give, in kindness, grant (from charis: benefit, gift, joy)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31,32 NLT
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize… Philippians 3:13,14 NLT
You are beginning a new year and a new decade. So be sure to leave behind the dead weight of unforgiveness and bitterness. Don’t drag that baggage into the new season you are entering. Get rid of it. Leave it!
trespass. He forgave you.
My musical sister Helen once experienced an awkward and hilarious moment while she was ministering to elderly people. She and her husband Paul owned a popular music store. They often visited the aged folks confined to a nursing home where Helen would sing and play hymns for the elderly audience. This proved always to attract those dear folks who would gather around, many in wheelchairs.
Invariably the rest home’s piano would be out of tune. Helen would fetch her tuning tools and tune the instrument. This proved to be quite a show! Surrounded by a crowd of wheelchair bound spectators, Helen would go to work on the piano’s out of tune strings. As usual, one bad note would be stubborn. That required Helen’s persistent striking the flat note, comparing it to the octave above and below it. This adjustment process sounded “PING! PING! PING!” Then “ping, ping, ping.” Over and over again. Helen labored over that one bad note. Suddenly from the back of the crowd came a loud outburst: “Leave it! Leave it!” an agitated lady shouted. “For God’s sake leave it!!” Over those loud objections, Helen finally did get that piano tuned.
This incident was hilarious, but it also provided our family lexicon with a new motto. From then onward the motto “Leave it!” would put a stop to negative conversation. When we would slip and say negative words about someone who in the past had hurt us or betrayed our trust, one of us would gently turn the conversation by simply saying, “Leave it.” We dare not belabor the point lest we hear, “Leave it for God’s sake, leave it!”
We have all experienced an unkind cut, or even adverse schemes against us. Such wounds are not unique to us alone. Yet, the continued speaking about those hurtful incidents needs to be stifled; left behind. Forgotten. Or else such thoughts become poisonous.
Trust must be earned
This truth is especially fitting for those of us in leadership who suffer disrespect and criticism from time to time. The Lord will grant us grace to forgive. Forgive we must. It’s for our sakes!. We forgive by the grace of Him who forgives us. Do we have to take the offender back into our trust? No. Trust is different from forgiveness. Forgiveness is free. Trust must be earned. Forgiveness works for our good.
In being willing to forgive, we line up with God’s truth: our life is not bound up in futility, but is blessed with favor. For those who are called to His purpose the Lord causes all things to work together for good.
So do not drag old baggage into the New Year. Let it go. Good riddance. When we do drop it, we feel so much lighter. We have a race to run, a crown to win. God grant us the grace to forgive.
October 27, 2020
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