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Thursday, 31 December 2015 17:44

Forgiveness, the Healing Power

Written by  Sam Whatley
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The Lord is real keen on forgiveness. And, if you continue seeking God, He will speak to you about forgiving others. He may even choose to speak through you. 

Years ago I was buying groceries for my family when an odd item was added to the list. I was asked to buy flowers and deliver them at the hospital to a lady I didn’t know. She had been absent from work for several weeks and was said to be getting worse every day. I was reluctant to do it, but I figured it would only take me ten minutes, so why not?


I left the groceries in the car, took the flowers in the hospital, and found the room. The woman was hooked up to tubes and looked very weak. She seemed depressed and angry. I nervously told her who sent the flowers and prepared to leave. She sighed and said the doctors could do nothing for her, but it didn’t matter, she probably would not live very long, anyway. Right at that moment something snapped in my spirit.  Without hesitation I blurted out, “You have to forgive him.”


Her eyes glared at me. She said, “You don’t know what he has done.” I thought, you are right. I don’t know what he has done. I don’t even know who he is. For that matter, I don’t even know who you are. But something else came out of my mouth.


I replied, “If you don’t forgive him, you will die.” Now that part stunned me a little. Her eyes went wide open and for a moment she was speechless. That was a good thing, because that was when I said “goodbye” and left the room, feeling scared and stupid.


All the way home I kept asking myself why I had said such bizarre things. I knew the message was from God, but it all seemed so out of place. A week later I discovered the answer. The lady was out of the hospital and back at work. She reportedly had a smile on her face and said she had been healed. She was at work every week the rest of the year. Her life had been changed. I never knew who she had forgiven, or what wrong had been done to her. But I knew Who had healed her and given her the power to forgive.


In the Bible, Matthew 6 (verses 9-13) gives us the Lord’s Prayer followed by a very sobering promise:

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive you your sins. (verses 14-15, NIV)

 

My story may not illustrate everyone’s situation. Everyone may not die this week if they don’t forgive those who have wronged them. But on the other hand, there are many ways to die.
Is there someone in your past that you have not forgiven? Is there someone who betrayed a confidence or exposed your sin to others? Did someone go back on their word and break an agreement that cost you money and anguish? Did someone slander your good name? Did someone abuse you? There are a thousand ways to be wronged, but only one way to forgive.


Our first response might be to say, “I cannot forgive that person, ever.” And in a sense you would be right. You, by yourself, cannot forgive anyone. That is part of the Fall. But God, through you, can forgive anyone of anything.
Forgiveness is not a self-help course. It is commanded by God and enabled by His Holy Spirit. You cannot do it alone. Don’t try to. Admit to God that you cannot forgive this person, but that you know He can. Ask Him to forgive that person through you.


Will it make you healthy and happy, as with the lady I mentioned? Will you never be reminded of the sin against you? Maybe, maybe not. But it is sure to make you more like the kind of person the Lord wants you to be. And deep inside, isn’t that what we all really want?

Last modified on Thursday, 31 December 2015 17:52
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