Matters of Faith: The Power of Forgiveness

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Proverbs 17:9 CEV
“You will keep your friends if you forgive them, but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong.”

So much has been written about the negative effects a lack of forgiveness has on the physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of our lives. You can find a plethora of articles on the internet that detail the significant impact a lack of forgiveness has on every area of our lives. The Bible talked about the need to forgive thousands of years ago. Solomon wrote this proverb about the impact a lack of forgiveness has on friendships. Friendships include family members as well.

I recently received a text that clearly was not intended for me. Although I did not recognize the number, I did recognize the name that was given in the body of the text. They stated that they had gotten a new phone number. Not wanting the situation to remain a mystery, I called. As we talked, it was clear that I was not the intended recipient. When I told her who I was, we realized we absolutely knew each other. She had inadvertently gotten my number mixed up with someone else’s number. It was a human error, but a Godly coincidence.

She confided that she had been dealing with an issue of forgiveness, and I was struggling with this article on forgiveness. By the time we said our farewells and closed out with prayer, she had committed to forgiving that person, and I had the fodder for my article.

Enduring and rekindled friendships are maintained through forgiveness. They go hand-in-hand. Broken relationships are mended, and reconciliations are made possible through forgiveness. In fact, our entire relationship with God is predicated on forgiveness. He told His disciples, “If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15). Then, in the greatest act of forgiveness known to man, one of the last things Jesus asked the Father as He hung on the cross at Calvary, was that He would “Forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Forgiveness is not just a healing balm for the body, a way to maintain and mend broken relationships, but it is something we must implement in every aspect of our lives because it has eternal ramifications.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:35).

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

When we forgive others, we heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but most of all, we are forgiven by our heavenly Father and receive an eternal reward.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at Smashwords)’

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