Wednesday, August 4, 2021

What are Your Investments? Investing in Forgiveness

What are Your Investments? Investing in Forgiveness 

A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. PROVERBS 17:17 

I believe God intends relationships and friendships to be the context in which He does some of His most important work in our lives. Life is difficult from any perspective, and everyone needs friends to help them through the difficult times. Those who have close friends know they couldn’t live without them. Friends love you enough to confront you when you are wrong and to stand by you through thick and thin. These are friends who act toward you like a marriage partner is supposed to—for better or for worse. If you have a friend like that, you are rich. If you have more than one, you are wealthy beyond measure. In today’s world, many people do not take time to cultivate committed friendships, and they are the poorer for it. But the need for committed friends doesn’t mean we should rush out and try to accumulate them on a wholesale basis. Many things in life are not left to our choosing, but friendships are. The choice of friends is more than a right, however—it is a responsibility. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Sometimes the hardest thing to do in this world isn't at all what the world defines it to be.

It's not about a drive to success.  Not wealth, prosperity, or even a healthy life. 

It's to do with the relationships we have with others. It's seeing them through the good times and the bad. 

Sometimes relationships are broken by a simple misunderstanding. An assumption at the wrong time. Words taken out of context.  The hardest thing to do, at times, is to ask for forgiveness. To apologize for wrongs committed. 

Someone asked Jesus how many times that they ought to forgive their brother. 7? He said no, 70 times 7. Probably because by that point hearts would be changed for the better on both sides. 

It's so very easy to go from a slip of the tongue to hurt feelings. 
It's so very sad when a person cannot find it in their heart to forgive. Yet people do it.

Forgiveness is required in the life of believers in order to maintain a right relationship with Jesus.  Some of the hardest moments concerning forgiveness in my life brought about more healing afterwards than I ever imagined. 

For many years the hardest person to forgive in my life was me. I had pent up anger issues with myself over sin. Until the day came and the realization dawned that if I believe that Christ forgave me, and remembered my sins no more, why was I punishing myself for that which was pardoned?

I am no stranger to needing to ask people to forgive me.  It's happened recently. 

We can create barriers between us and others or work to remove them. 

To me, the burden is to great to carry a problem that forgiveness would remove from my shoulders. 

Finding friends in this world often isn't easy.  Some can have countless acquaintances in mere moments. Others seem to have to work at it. Some confuse friends and acquaintances. Some call one the other and vice versa. 

Jesus before the crucifixion and after was still about the Father's business. Repairing and building relationships. Peter, for days, felt lower than he had in his whole life after denying his relationship with Jesus. Jesus would not leave this world with Peter in that state. Forgiveness and healing needed to happen. 

We can find the dumbest reasons to not forgive someone. We can erect walls between ourselves and others that just have no place in our hearts. 

Jesus suffered and died, nailed to a wooden cross, to forgive the sins of mankind if they would but believe in Him. 

Have heard many say that they can forgive but never forget.  Sorry to tell you, but Christ did, so should we. That's the risk involved in forgiveness and the lesson of 70 times 7. It's what's partly behind knowing people by their fruits. It the application of Scripture. 

If Jesus DOES cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, remembering them no more, and we are to follow in His footsteps, what does that say is required of us?

There's another verse too about friends.  Saying there is one who sticks closer than a brother. 

In our lives it's Jesus. In the lives of those without Christ its their futile attempts at relationships that will do nothing to save them in the end. When we all die all will need evidence of salvation in Christ Jesus alone for a future to be spent in Heaven. Jesus sometimes forgave sins as a priority before a person was to be healed. 

Are you holding onto the past and not forgiving as Christ forgave you?  It's breaking your relationship with Jesus and with those around you. I have seen it said in a phrase both short and sweet: Let go, let God. 

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