You and I know by the actions of the Lord and by what He tells us, that forgiveness is very precious to Him. If anyone could have understandably said, "Lord, I don't know if I can forgive them," it would have been Jesus. But he did forgive us, and He tells us to make forgiveness our way of life. How many times? Seven times seventy times equals a lifetime of all the time. Knowing this, it is something we must purpose to do.
It is a sacrifice to forgive. Are we not called, by the mercies of God, to be living sacrifices? It is painful to forgive. Have we not been prepared by God Himself to offer forgiveness? It is possible only by God's love to forgive.
Walk closer and closer with the Lord of love, because forgiveness is step by step. And the first step is often nothing less than a decision to obey God. It has little to do with feeling, and everything to do with obedience. We may have been standing so long in painful shoes that there is no feeling left in our feet, but we can still say, "Yes, Lord. I choose now to forgive," when He says, Forgive."
What follows may be different for everyone, but I imagine it is not very different because it was a step that Christ Himself had to take...submitting the will. We look at the choices before us and say, "Either I will be torn apart by soul pain, or I willl submit. Either I will stay here fighting to preserve myself, or I will surrender myself and be preserved by my Father's love."
From here there is just one place to go. It is the place where we say, "I love You, my God and Father, more than I hate sin." Did Jesus hate sin? Oh, yes. Did He love His Father more than He hated sin? Yes. It is a very freeing place to say, "I love God more than I hate sin." How much do I hate sin? A whole lot...especially when it offends me directly and causes me great pain. I'm sure you know what I mean...who hasn't felt it and hated it? But those who realize they love God more than they hate sin are those who can forgive again and again, seventy tims seven times, all the time for a lifetime. Step there.
written by: Carolyn Roehrig