Oooh, this series is good! As we met this past week, our discussion focused on ‘Forgiveness Versus Bitterness’. Jesus is the focal point as the ultimate example of forgiveness. For One who was frequently and unjustly wronged, Jesus had to repeatedly decide whether or not to forgive. He always chose forgiveness. Willingly. It was clear to us that in striving to be like Christ, it goes deeper than just being friendly, likeable and popular with some masses. We must also be ready to forgive with no strings attached.
One question from the study was: when a person chooses bitterness and revenge, who all gets hurt? Usually when bitterness and revenge are the focus, it’s because we’re hoping to attack the other person. To inflict pain or to retaliate because of how we were wronged. Except that it’s not just the other party that is affected. There is damage done to us as well.
A second question from this week was: how can we have the kind of love necessary to forgive those who have hurt us? Romans 5:5 has the answer–by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
During our prayer time, as we looked at repentance, one of the suggested activities was to get specific in seeking forgiveness. Tell God exactly who has wronged us; what actions and attitudes they had towards us that were hurtful and how we feel.
But it doesn’t stop there. May we all choose to be as thorough in our forgiveness as we were with listing our hurts.
Father in Heaven, I choose to forgive ______________ (person’s name) for ________________ (actions & attitudes that were hurtful to us). I am willing to suffer the emotional pain of ___________(our feelings), as well as the consequences that their actions and attitudes caused. I surrender all these things to You, to transform them and use them for good. I choose to pass on the mercy & kindness You have given to me as soon as I have opportunity. Forgive me for allowing wrong feelings, attitudes, and actions into my life.
We’re back to our regular Wednesdays next week, May 17 at 7:00 pm. As we continue to clear the way for the Holy Spirit, we’ll be studying ‘Purity Versus Sexual Immorality‘.