Obstacles to Forgiveness

Without forgiveness, there is only death. In Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira chose to sell some of their property. The married couple gave the early church a portion of the sales price. Ananias took the money they intended to give to the early church to the apostles. This sounds like a very generous thing to do!

The only problem is that Ananias lied. He must have implied that he was giving all of the sales price to the church because he was struck down by the Lord and died for lying. Later, his wife Sapphira arrived. The apostles asked her how much the couple sold their property for. She also lied. The Lord took her life then for lying as well.

Ananias and Sapphira died in their sin. What was their sin? Lying. For this sin, the wage was death. Death is the result of all sins (Romans 6:23). Imagine if you had died from lying. It is by grace and mercy you did not die immediately from any of your sins as Ananias and Sapphira did. Only through Christ and His sacrifice on the cross are we given eternal life through forgiveness.

It is the same with every person you meet. Only by the Lord’s grace and mercy do they live and not die from their sins immediately. The truth is that because of sin, we all require mercy, grace, and forgiveness. It is the forgiveness that brings life.

When you choose not to forgive those who have done wrong to you, you are heaping sin upon yourself. Holding on to someone else’s wrong does not cause them harm. It causes you harm. Christ, the Lord will deal with those who hurt you. If you need evidence of that, read Psalm 71. You are not punishing or gaining justice against those who hurt you by not forgiving them. Instead, you are placing yourself in a cycle of pain where you play out the hurt again and again in your heart, memories, and in other relationships. Forgiving the people who hurt you will not erase the pain and memories of the wrong. Forgiveness alone will not fix the brokenness of the relationship with those who hurt you.

Forgiveness reduces Satan’s power to use that hurt and pain to produce more hurt and pain. Forgiveness applies the righteousness and favor of Christ into a difficult citation. Satan comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. Christ came so that you may have life--by the power of forgiveness.

Those who hurt you may never apologize. You may never be reconciled to those who hurt you. It might be better never to trust the ones you need to forgive when trusting them places you in a position to be hurt and abused again. You may never feel like forgiving those who hurt you. Yet forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a choice.

Forgiveness allows you to move past that hurt to live life abundantly.
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