September 4, 2008
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Do you have any bitterness in your life today? Are you harboring any negative feelings, animosity, or even hatred towards another person?
Perhaps you have been hurt greatly. Perhaps you were sexually, physically, or verbally abused as a child. Maybe you’ve been devastated by rejection in a relationship. Perhaps you’ve been unsuccessful in school or in your current career. I know that every one of us faces hurt and rejection in life.
But I also know that Satan laughs when there’s a conflict that’s caused by bitterness. Why does he laugh? Because he knows that a spirit of bitterness gives him a foothold in your life, which will make you unable to pray, unable to witness, and unable to serve God effectively.
You say, “Well, Pastor, you don't understand how much I've been hurt. You don't know how deeply I’ve been wounded. You don't know my story.” And you know what? You’re right. I don’t.
But I do know what happened to Jesus when He was taken into the hands of cruel and violent men. He was handed over to Roman soldiers who saw Him as nothing but a piece of flesh to be executed. They beat Him, mocked Him, pulled out His beard, spat in His face, and they nailed Him to a cross.
And yet Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
That's what Christ has done for you! And as a believer, the Spirit of Christ lives within you, enabling you by His power to respond to others with forgiveness.
You know, if you will ask God to take away your bitterness, He’ll do it. He will bring you to a place in your life where His grace and peace replaces the animosity, hurt, and anger that you feel.
PRAY AND ASK GOD FOR THE COURAGE TO FORGIVE A PERSON WHO HAS HURT YOU DEEPLY.