Pastor’s Pen 02/09/2024

Pastor’s Pen 02/09/2024


Instead, be kind to one another, tender-hearted,  graciously forgiving each other, just as God in Christ      also has graciously forgiven you. Eph 4:32

 Forgive. It is something that every Christian understands. We are thankful that God has forgiven us of all of our past, present, and future sins (1 John 2:12; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 17, 18). When you acknowledged before a holy God that you were a sinner, repented of those sins, and believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord, your sins were forgiven, and you were born again. Even now, we are commanded when we sin to seek God’s forgiveness.

The Mayo Clinic defines forgiveness as an intentional  decision to let go of resentment and anger. However, The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you. The biblical definition of forgiveness is to keep no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5) and to forgive as many times as necessary (Matthew 18:21–22). Refusing to forgive a person demonstrates resentment, bitterness, and anger, none of which are the traits of a growing Christian. Biblically, forgiveness is not just something that the offended person offers; it requires the offender to receive it, bringing reconciliation to the relationship. Furthermore, forgiveness requires that we give a repentant person an opportunity to regain our trust by forgiving them. Jesus commanded us to “Go and be      reconciled to your brother” (Matt 5:24; 1 Cor. 7:11; 2 Cor 5:18- 20).

It has been said that we are most like Christ when we   forgive. Unforgiveness is a sin, and it leads to bitterness that turns into hate. It allows someone to live in your head rent-free. In the fall of 2010, I was sitting in my office when Charles Allen walked into the church (my office is where Pastor Cal is now). I had met Charles through a mutual friend in 2007. He asked if he could speak to me about an issue he had with me. I invited  him into my office and closed the door.

He then proceeded to tell me how he had held a grudge against me for three years because of something that he   said I did. I asked him to elaborate because I did not know what he was talking about.  He said that he left a message    for me to call him after we had met because he was going through a personal issue and wanted my counsel.

He said I never called him, and he was angry with me and wanted to get it off his chest. I was stunned. I told him I  never received that message and was so sorry for any hurt that I had caused him. He paused and then said, “You mean I have been mad at you for three years, and you didn’t even know it.”  It was as if a heavy weight was released from around his neck. I appreciate that Charles came to see me  all of those years ago. If he had not, he still might be holding on to bitterness that had no merit. Look what God has done through the life of Charles since he and Shelby have become members here.

Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the person who you won’t forgive dies. It kills you, not them.  Paul commanded us to be at peace with all men as it depends on us ( Romans 12:18).   Be quick to forgive and slow to take offense so that the world may see Christ in you.

Your shepherd,

Pastor Mark


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