*Guest Blogger* (I asked Landon to share his Sunday school lesson tonight)
I remember an episode of Seinfeld where George said that when a couple takes a road trip for the first time, it’s a relationship killer. He was saying it to Jerry when he decided to take his new girlfriend on a road trip and Jerry said it had been horrible…Yep the relation killer!!
So what does this have to do with Jesus? Well, there is relationship killer when it comes to Jesus as well. What’s the killer? The short answer is an unforgiving heart.
Jesus tells us to forgive others of their trespasses and He has forgiven us of ours.(Mathew 6:14) Seems simple enough until we are expected to do it. If we can’t find it in our hearts to forgive others, it will hinder our relationship with Jesus. I do not mean that we are no longer saved or He rejects us. But I do emphasize that it is hard to grow spiritually and walk in the light if we have resentment in our hearts. Remember, our whole faith and salvation hinges on forgiveness. The fact that we must come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness of our sins, and the fact He died for that very reason, speaks volumes about the meaning of it.
Forgiving others that hurt us is very hard for us. Pride is a strong emotion and we cringe when we think about turning the other cheek to someone who hurt us. But, this is exactly what Jesus wants. Jesus said seven things on the cross. He first said, “Father, FORGIVE them, for they know not what they do…” There it is, FORGIVE them.
True Christianity is about redemption and forgiveness. How many times do we forgive? 77 times 7, and then some. I used to think forgiveness was for the weak. Those who hurt you must pay. They must feel the sting. As I begin to reach middle age, Jesus has spoken to my heart and I realize that I probably hurt just as many people as those who have hurt me. I want their forgiveness, and if I seek that, I also need to give that.
We must not take vengeance for that is the Lord’s. An unforgiving heart will rob you of joy and you will become bitter and your heart like stone. Do not allow the actions of others to have that control. Forgive them. Your relationship may never be reconciled, they may reject it, but if you truly forgive them, then you will be free and can let go.
Live by the example of Jesus on the cross. Love those who hurt you, forgive them, and live with joy in your heart.