Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The three hardest words

What are the three hardest words to say? It's not "I love you." Those three words are easy to say (and sometimes cheap). They can be said in the heat of passion, or by a young girl with her first crush. "I love you" rolls off the tongue of a mother or father speaking to their child.

But the three hardest words are "I forgive you." We are wronged in so many ways, whether from a divorce, bad business deals, betrayals, bad manners, etc. We get angry when someone does us wrong, and we carry that anger with us.

But that anger can consume us. We can become obsessed with the hurt and the pain. The bitterness from our anger can ruin longstanding relationships and ruin our health. It can even separate us from God, because He will not forgive us unless we forgive others first. In Matthew 6:15 (NLT), Jesus states: "But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."

But what if you're the one who has done wrong and you need forgiveness? Ask the Lord for courage and guidance. Go to the person you have wronged and apologize for your wrongdoing. Then (hopefully) you will hear those wonderful words: "I forgive you," and your relationship will be restored. If that person chooses not to forgive you, then put the situation in the Lord's hands and pray for that person, that they be released from their anger and bitterness and that your relationship will be restored.

Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we can be forgiven - He paid with His life. His death and resurrection show that we can be right with God and be forgiven for our sins. If Jesus gave His life for our forgiveness, surely we can make the effort to tell someone we forgive them and restore our relationship with that person. Don't delay! Tomorrow may be too late.