for·give

fərˈɡiv/
verb

1. stop feeling angry or resentment toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, 0r mistake

2. cancel (a debt)

I don’t know about you, but I like to look and smell nice. But even more important than looking good or smelling pretty is radiating beauty from within.

Have you ever known a girl (or guy) who looks great on the outside but is ugly inside? What is inside overshadows their outer beauty. In the same way, a girl who may not look like a supermodel can attract people to her because she radiates beauty from inside!

Well, that’s what God wants us to do, radiate the beauty of Jesus Christ by imitating Him. You know, What Would Jesus Do? Sounds cliche but it’s true!

Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

So, how does this relate to forgiveness?

If we want to be imitators of God, we’ll do what He does and love like He loves. And forgive even when it’s not easy.

That’s what Jesus did for me and for you. Before the forgiveness Christ gives us we aren’t very pretty inside. In fact,we’re absolutely rotten to the core! We’re wicked, selfish, ungrateful, angry, hateful and just plain old UGLY! But Jesus saw past our inner ugliness to what we could be!

1 John 4 says this,

” Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love… In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us…Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…and this is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (or sister!)

It’s not tough to love those who love us and are kind to us, is it? But, what about that mean girl or the guy who acted like a jerk? Or your sibling who drives you nuts or anyone who has wounded you deeply? It’s not easy to love and forgive those that don’t even know or care that they’ve hurt you or haven’t apologized. But, the Bible says that God COMMANDS us to love. And that means forgiving those who hurt us.

If we don’t forgive, we don’t love. And if we don’t love, we are living in disobedience to God. And guess what, You aren’t really hurting the other person because you haven’t forgiven them. You’re hurting YOU!

Unforgiveness is like a really nasty weed in the garden of your heart. If you let it grow, it takes over and grows larger and stronger. And when you dwell on those hurts, it’s like fertilizing and watering those nasty weeds. Before you know it, they’ll take over your heart. And believe me, I know from experience. It isn’t worth it!

Tear those weeds out before they develop deep roots. With Jesus, it’s possible!

Matthew 6:14-15

” if you forgive others their trespasses (sins), your heavenly Father will forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

God takes forgiveness pretty seriously, and so should we! He loves you so much that He made a way, through Jesus Christ, that your sins can be forgiven. Then you’ll have His power in you! Jesus already did the work by living a perfect life, dying on the cross then rising again and conquering death and hell for us.

All you have to do is:
1) Admit you are a sinner and need a savior. Tell God you’re sorry for your sins.
2) Believe Jesus Christ is God’s Son and that He came to pay the penalty of your sins.
3) Confess your faith and trust in Jesus.

Say hello to our Guest writer Valerie Miller!