One of my favorite songs by Matthew West describes forgiveness as “the hardest thing to give away and the last thing on your mind today.” If there is any one thing God has stressed with me most it is forgiveness. I’m a teenage girl so I get in more than my fair share of arguments– many of them over things so miniscule that I forget what they were by the time it’s over and done with. This leads me straight into the point I’m trying to make. There is so many factors that go into what a person says that you can’t base an argument solely on words. Even in murder trials, a person may say “I’m going to kill you!” And not mean it. One thing I’ve found about arguments is that they tend to take a turn for the best once people focus on forgiveness.
Focusing your attention on forgiveness can make massive differences in feuds. When your mindset is that of Jesus– ‘”come now, let us settle the matter,”‘ (Isaiah 1:18) our focus tends to shift from defensiveness and fighting the person to an attitude of problem-solving and humility.
There are many examples of biblical text regarding forgiveness. Just as we love because he first loved us, (1 John 4:19) we forgive because he has forgiven us. His love and mercy endure overall and through his bloodshed, our sin is washed clean.
Put rather simply, if he if able to forgive us for all of our trespasses, mistakes, wrongdoings, and everything else, why can’t we forgive the little bumps in life?
This Wednesday night in youth group we discussed Jonah. Now this is the Jonah we were all taught about in Sunday school. The guy who disobeyed God and was thrown into a whale because of this. However, after reviewing the entire book of Jonah there is a very big message we can gain.
Through all Jonah had gone through, surviving the body of a giant fish, he was still too stubborn to obey what God had commanded him to do. In chapter 3 Jonah was called to go to Nineveh and deliver the news to the detested that God would overthrow the country. The people of Nineveh heard this and decided to repent! They wanted forgiveness, and God was ready to give it! God decided not to destroy Nineveh. This was the time to rejoice! They have repented!
But Jonah was not having it. He was angry that the filthy people from Nineveh were allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Essentially, Jonah was a racist. He hated the people of Nineveh and in turn, he disobeyed the will of God because he could not forgive.
Jonah thought he deserved mercy from God yet he was unwilling to give it to others. If we wish for God to forgive our mistakes and have mercy unto us, we must do the same.
Colossians 3:13 -Allie