By Rebekah Montgomery
Each of us has war wounds sustained in life's battles. Some only scar; others fester forever. A close examination of the offending ulcers often reveals shrapnel — unresolved hurts.
Because unforgiveness receives a hefty share of ink in the Bible, I'm listing the Word's Top 10 Reasons (my order) why we need to teach and learn forgiveness:
- We're to love our neighbor as ourselves, including our enemies. Matthew 5:44
- If we want to be forgiven, we must forgive. Matthew 6:12, 24, 15
- Unforgiveness hinders our prayers. Matthew 5:23, 24
- We are not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. One of the ways we overcome is by forgiving the evil. Romans 12:21
- "Great rewards" and blessing are promised to those who practice forgiveness. Luke 6: 35, Matthew 5:7
- Forgiveness is commanded — seventy times seven — which means always! Matthew 18:21, 22
- Forgiveness illustrates the love of God, making us "children of our Father." Matthew 5:45
- Forgiveness demonstrates maturity in Christ. Matthew 5:48
- If we are unforgiving, we are no better than our enemies. Matthew 5: 46, 47
- Forgiveness shows discretion and "glory." Proverbs 19:11
Remember: Those who have something to forgive are the bleeding victims. The only place they will ever find healing and help is at the feet of Jesus.
Those who need to ask for forgiveness will need His Divine help to do it.
"Forgiving is not forgetting; it is letting go of the hurt" - Mary Mcleod Bethume
"Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. He who cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass." - Corrie Ten Boom
"Forgiveness is an act of the will and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart." - Corrie Ten Boom
"Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die." - Anne Lamott from Traveling Mercies
© Rebekah Montgomery 2007
For reprint requests, contact Rebekah at her website, www.RebekahMontgomery.com