With the start of the New Year, we all have hopes to start with a clean slate, but too often we bring old baggage from last year into the New Year. But before we can get closer to the Lord this year we must really come to terms with forgiving others from the previous year(s). *Forgiveness is not an option, it’s a must!
We can’t avoid or deny the fact that relationships often bring hurt and the need to forgive. Whether we have been wronged by another or wronged others around us, the responsibility is still ours to forgive.
In either case the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts with these words.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” Ephesians 4:31-32. (NIV).
At some point in life you will be confronted with the difficult task of forgiving someone you once felt close to. And because there are no exceptions let me suggest 3 steps you can take to get started.
Cultivating a Heart of Forgiveness!!!
1. Deepen your understanding of God’s forgiveness through Bible study and meditation:
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
2. Learn to recognize the signs of a forgiving heart:
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked”. Luke 6:35-36 (NLT)
3. Learn to respond well when old feelings come back:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
By God's Grace