Forgiveness: Blessings vs. Curses


Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Unbroken (by Laura Hillenbrand) is a book about the amazing life of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic athlete turned bombardier airman during World War II. After a plane crash, Mr. Zamperini survived starvation and shark attacks on a life raft, only to be captured by the Japanese army. He was held prisoner for several years and endured unspeakable cruelty. Upon his return home, he struggled with flashbacks and alcoholism, until a chance encounter at a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade. Reverend Graham was preaching on the power of forgiveness and Louie took it to heart. He forgave his torturers and made a trip back to Japan to share God’s good news.

There is power in forgiveness. In fact, God has a number of blessings that He will give us, if we only open our hearts. Psalm 32:1 promises us that we will be blessed by God when we forgive others. Our sins will be forgotten “as far as the east is from the west,” in Psalm 103:12. We are assured mercy in Matthew 5:7. In Proverbs 25:21-22, He promises rewards for feeding our enemies.

When we harden our hearts and are unforgiving, there are consequences for this sin. In Matthew 18:35, the Scripture tells us that not only will God refuse to excuse our sins if we don’t forgive others, but He will torment us. Even worse, Satan will gain an advantage over us if we don’t forgive, according to 2nd Corinthians 2:10-11.

As children of God, we are commanded to do not just the easy, pleasant tasks, but the difficult ones, too. If a physical wound is left without cleansing, it will fester and become infected. Soon it will affect the entire body. Similarly, if you don’t clear the air with someone who has hurt you, this wound will become bitter. Next week, I will finish this three-part series by focusing on the consequences of bitterness.

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The Hubster and I are flying to Chicago today to consult with doctors at the
Cancer Treatment Centers of America. They will do some tests and discuss ideas they have for my treatment. I’ll let you know how it goes. I covet your prayers. Thanks, blog buddies!

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Female in Motion Exercise Update: I did three 20-minute Wii yoga routines and walked three miles last week. I’m really getting “downward-facing dog” right!

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Notable Quote:

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” --Mahatma Gandhi
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