Walking In The Nature Of Christ

As we continue to walk with Christ, may we realize that forgiveness is necessary and it is very crucial part in our Christian Journey for we are called to live a Christ like life. God is the ultimate illustration of forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.
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Read: Matthew 5:43-45

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust." Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)

Love Thy Neighbour- Who is our neighbour?

-Our Neighbours are those people around us that we love and we despise – “ENEMY” and it will lead us to the question of forgiveness.

According to C.S. Lewis in his book - Mere Christianity
“We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it.”

Forgiveness- When we have been hurt deeply or repeatedly specially by someone we love, sometimes the pain leads to depression and trauma, it can be next to IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGIVE- we are left with bitterness, hatred, anger, guilt and shame in our hearts towards ourselves and others specially to the person who wronged us.

-How do you forgive the person who broke your family and made your life a living hell?
-How do you forgive the person who hurt you or your family?
-How do you forgive the person who lied to you multiple times?
-How do you forgive the person who made you suffer?
-How do you forgive the person who has abused you? How do you forgive the person who cheated on you?
-How do you forgive the person who stole from you?
-How do you forgive the person who killed or raped your family or one of your family members?
-How do you forgive the person who cheated on you?
-How do you forgive the person who stole from you?

Sometimes forgiveness is easy to give but sometimes we depend it to how great and grave that sin is that we are having hard time to forgive.

I will be sharing 3 things “Why is it hard to forgive, why should we forgive and how to forgive our neighbor”

1. Why it is hard to forgive?

Actually God has instilled within every human heart a sense of right and wrong; therefore, we feel a need for justice when we are wronged, we long for it.

“Show no pity; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand foot for foot.” Deuteronomy 19:21

and if justice will not be serve - unforgiveness follows (that includes- anger and hatred but the Bible really exhorts us in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

I, myself began to harbor unforgiveness in my heart toward my friends and family, I build up walls to protect myself because I don’t want to be hurt again, never again. As the time goes by that unforgiveness turned to bitterness. Bitterness that enforced walls of protection around my heart (Not letting anyone in)-during that time I feel safe. Actually, this is something I still struggle with today(I'M NOT PERFECT, I AM STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS) God is still at work.

2. Why should we forgive?

1. God commanded us to forgive: Love thy neighbour

Ephesians 4: 31-32 (ESV)
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

We all agree that God wants us to Forgive but all of us know how difficult forgiveness can be to walk out.
-(Sometimes, it felt like it's better to live in an isolated island - less neighbor to love, less neighbor to forgive - because it is hard.

Let’s be honest, if we look at it in our own way,in our own point of view it is not always easy and it will never be. In fact, forgiveness can at times be among the hardest things as Christians we are called to do. Easier said than done.

2. For our spiritual growth because unforgiveness is a SIN

Sometimes we pretend that we have already forgiven the person who did us wrong. God knows everything and he sees our hearts and the deepest thoughts that we keep in our mind and no matter how hard you hide it and pretend that everything is okay in front of other people, at the end of the day it’s gonna be between you and God anyway.

Sometimes we deceived ourselves by saying, I forgave that person but I would rather not see his/her face again. There is no such things as half-baked forgiveness.

And Sometimes we deny forgiveness. And if we keep denying forgiveness it will dig a deep hole in which we can easily hide our hardened heart and eventually it will ruined our relationship with God.

-How can you say that?-because of unforgiveness, the offended person will often become spiritually dry- it’s like trying to feel connected with God but lacking spiritual growth.

So therefore conclude that we can never worship God in spirit and I truth if we keep something from Him.

3. Lastly: How to forgive?

We can know in our minds that forgiveness is the right step to take, but if you or I are trying to take the step in our own strength, were going to find ourselves facing an impossible task. This what will happen if we continue to walk in our own and old nature. We cannot do it on our own.

The chains of unforgiveness will still hold us back. Specially, if we can still feel the pain. Some will tell you that time heals but there’s just too much that time cannot erase.

This will happen if we keep on walking in our own and old nature, good thing we have God.

So, how do we forgive?

First is: According to C.S. Lewis:

He says, that the key to forgive is keeping in mind the consequences if we do not forgive.- Matt 6:14-15: God will not forgive us if we do not forgive someone else.

-(we also need forgiveness) sometimes we are the victim, sometime we are the oppressor, that's why we need to be forgiven. If you want God to forgive you, the forgiveness should start with you first.

Second : Surrender it to God, the battle is not ours anymore and follow Jesus

The reason why we are having hard time forgiving the person who did us wrong is because we tend to handle it in our own way.

Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you and your transgression and wrong doings. Mark 11:25

The way God makes forgiveness possible for us is by giving us the nature of His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross and we owed an enormous debt that we could never pay, but Jesus paid our debt with His own life.

God expects us to release others of their debts because Jesus willingly went through hell in order to release us of ours. He was hung on the cross to redeem everyone from sin.

Also in Luke 23:34, tells us that as the soldiers mocked and beat Jesus, Jesus asks His father to forgive them for they do not know what they do. Jesus gave us the greatest example that we need to forgive.

So, walking in the nature of Christ means keeping the truth of His sacrifice in our heart, mind and action. Letting go of anger, bitterness and hatred from unforgiveness.

Before I end my devotion, allow me to read part of the story that was written by C.S. Lewis in his book - Mere Christianity

Two years after the war, Corrie spoke at a church in Munich, to a defeated Germany, bringing with her the message that God does indeed forgive. Yet Corrie was unexpectedly struck by a familiar face that stared back at her from within the crowd; a man she recognized as a particularly cruel guard from Ravensbruck. After Corries speech had ended the man approached Corrie, His words to her were as follows: "You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk. I was a guard there," he said. “But since that time I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well." He extended his hand towards her and asked, “Will you forgive me?"

"So let be clearly known by you, brothers, that through Him forgives of sins is being proclaimed to you." Acts 13:38

As I continue to walk with Christ, He made me realize that forgiveness is necessary and it is very crucial part in our Christian Journey for we are called to live a Christ like life. God is the ultimate illustration of forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.