(by Karen Ross, from a lesson by Dr. Charles Hamilton of the Upper Room Fellowship)
“Resentment (unforgiveness) is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” (Malacy McCourt)
Psalm 103:103 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities . . .
“I want to forgive, but I don’t know how. “ — Oh how many times I have heard that! To forgive, one must have the desire to forgive. It all starts with that desire.
Then once the desire is there, we must decide to forgive. Sometimes, that takes some work, effort. It’s not always easy. I love the word “resolve” – because it implies an attitude of resolution – I think we need to have a revolutionary resolution when it comes to forgiveness. When we make a decision like that, it doesn’t change when our emotions change – because we recognize that our emotions are up and down, unsteady at times. A resolute decision will carry you through those changing emotions. It says, “I’m GOING to forgive, Lord please help me with my emotions.” Our goal is to make forgiveness our lifestyle. “Walking in forgiveness,” as the Bible teaches.
Then we must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us – because we are praying according to God’s will, and He WILL answer prayers like that. “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord (Zac 4:6)
[The next post will be “Six Attitudes that Reveal Unforgiveness” — a continuation of the same message by Dr. Charles Hamilton. AKA “Chuck”]