Part One: Horizontal Forgiveness

forgive others

Last week, I made myself vulnerable and shared with you, the time when the spirit of unforgiveness held me in its filthy clutches. Although the reason behind my lack of repentance on my wife, and the filthy spirit’s hold on me, I must say, belongs to me. However, all of mankind has their own issues of life, which lead them down the path of unforgiveness. Likewise, their reason belongs to them lest we judge. Conversely, as in my case, if we offend somebody, it is up to each of us to reach out and initiate the repentance and forgiveness process of the offense. Withholding forgiveness, is a derivative of pride.

God had already forgiven me, on the Cross, but I still needed to repent, nonetheless. When I asked for Christ’s forgiveness, which I needed to do, I didn’t feel His forgiveness. It later dawned on me that He wanted me to ask forgiveness toward the offended party. All I know is, the second I asked for her forgiveness, God immediately restored my life and my health. If I were to speak for God, I’d have said, “It sure took you long enough Bozo.” Instead, I felt His warm voice within me saying, “I’m proud of you son.

I will be bold enough to say that there would never be a need for any relationship arguments or problems, if we’d all just remember, and here’s the key, use, Ephesians 6:12, it would be the end of all relational splits and divorce. This one verse has the capacity to squelch all disagreements among each other, and would save all relationships, if not all marriages. We need to learn who the real enemy is, and then fight him, not our spouse or partner. Prayer would also be prudent at this time.

v12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [Ephesians 6:12 KJV]

Just as there is a proper way of repenting, there is also a proper way of forgiveness. Ephesians 6:12, puts everything into the proper perspective of who the actual enemy is, whether we are the offender or the offended party. Therefore, if we offend someone, we ask forgiveness right away. It releases us. In terms of our own soul, their response is irrelevant to the process, although their acknowledgement would be beneficial to the relationship.

However, if someone offends us, we immediately forgive them. The only thing about this is, we forgive them to our self. If they do not ask for forgiveness and we forgive them anyway, out loud, we’ll seem condescending and with a holier than thou attitude of pride. It is up to them, through God, to protect their own soul. Our quiet forgiveness of their offense releases us.

Lord, thank you for your propitiatory sacrifice on the Cross. Thank you for the redemption of my soul and for the forgiveness of my sins. Thank you for your love and for calling me to you. Thank you for your Word and its guiding lamp unto my feet that shows me the way to being closer to the image of your Son, Jesus Christ. In your precious name, AMEN.

Forgiveness is the basis of our faith.

Next week: we’ll look at part two and another Horizontal forgiveness
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