• Wayne Fox

Does Forgiveness Make Things Better?

Does Forgiveness Make Things Better?

Being human and made in the image of God we expect that life will normally follow an upward trend getting richer and fuller and more fulfilling along the way. When we go to the movies we expect the storyline to build in intensity and grow towards a thrilling climax. When we go to concert and fireworks we expect a grand finale. But we must realize that we live in a fallen world. As Christians we know that the years that we spend here on this earth are only a drop in the bucket compared to eternal life, and we are assured there will be a finale awaiting us in glory.

If we are going to live pleasing to God and at peace with God and our fellow man, forgiveness must be a way of life for each of us. You have been wronged in the past, so you are certain to be wrong in future situations where you again will be maligned and treated unfairly. We see this over and over in life, in our marriages, in the relationship with our children, in the workplace, at church, you will continue to face the same crossroads and asked the same questions do you forgive, or do you harbor resentment and bitterness?

Recently I was reading 2 Timothy. Most scholars agree that was the last letter that Paul wrote from prison shortly after that he was executed. This letter was written late in Paul’s life after years of faithful service for God, Paul found himself dealing with disappointment. 2 Timothy 1:15 (ESV) 15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. Apparently Paul was fearful of the reprisals that could occur under Nero’s repressive regime. There was also Alexander the Coppersmith who had hurt Paul deeply. 2 Timothy 4:14 (ESV) 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Is it possible that Alexander was gloating over seeing Paul in prison? There were many others who had once been supporters and friends of Paul’s ministry but Paul had been placed in prison where it would require great courage for them to be friends of Paul’s and visit him in prison. 2 Timothy 4:16 (ESV) 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! Note Paul’s reaction to this great hurt and disappointment, “May it not be charged against them”.

How was Paul able to make that statement? How was he able to forgive such great hurt and keep on forgiving new hurts and offenses that occurred to him?

How do you forgive the neighbor whose dog barks half the night and wakes you up with frustrating regularity?

How do you show mercy to the friend who turned an issue you shared with them in confidence into a prayer request for their small group?

We must choose to make a choice to forgive.

#executed #fulfilling #gloating #maligned

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