Do you truly have Christ in your heart?
Is there someone in your life that you know you need to forgive? Are you a bitter-sweet Christian?
I remembered purchasing an organic chocolate bar from a company I used to work for. On the wrapper, it claimed to be an exotic chocolate bar made from organic cacao that was straight from the jungle. Like everybody else, I crave for chocolate once in a while.
I opened the wrapper and bit right into it. Within a few seconds, I had spat out the piece of chocolate. It looked like a chocolate bar. It smelled like a chocolate bar. However, it didn’t taste like one. In fact, it was bitter.
There are so many people that come in and out of our lives. Some, we stay in close contact with and others we stay as long-distance friends. In one way or another, they made an impact in our lives. Most of the time, it’s a positive one.
But what about the ones that made a negative impact? You know who I’m talking about; that friend or relative that hurt your feelings?
As Christ-followers, we are to forgive those who hurt us because the Lord our God forgave us. For some of us, that’s very difficult.
When you don’t forgive, you become bitter. You become angry every time that person is mentioned or even comes around.
In fact, you’re not even a Christ-follower at that point. I’m sorry to say that but instead, you’re a bitter-sweet Christian. You have a love for others but can’t seem to love those who hurt you.
Reading the bible the other day, I came across a passage in Matthew that talked about the crucifixion of Jesus. Before crucifying Him, the soldiers of the governor gave Him wine mixed with gall to drink but, He did not drink it. (Mt 27:34) According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, gall is the bile obtained from an animal and is usually bitter.
People who were bitter, who had the wine that was bitter was trying to get bitterness into the sweetness of Jesus and He did not drink it. Why? Because Jesus is the Son of God, who is love, peace, faithfulness, everything we can’t achieve without Christ.
Even if we have Christ in our hearts, we continue to have some bitterness in our hearts because we are human. So how do we get rid of that bitterness?
Forgive those who hurt you and those who made any negative impact in your life. Just like God was able to forgive us, we should forgive those who hurt us.
Before Christ was crucified, He shouted to God saying “Father forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). Just as God forgave us for our sins because we didn’t know what we were doing, we should be able to forgive those who don’t know what they were doing.
Now you may argue with me saying, “Oh they obviously know what they were doing! They were purposely doing it”. But, take into consideration if whether or not those people who hurt you have Christ in their heart?
Do they know Christ like you do?
Do you remember when you first started out and you accepted Christ as your savior? You didn’t know what things you did were considered a sin, yet you were forgiven. Just like us in the beginning not knowing His Word, the people who hurt us may not know so much of His Word either.
If they don’t know the Word, forgive them and pray for them. If they do, forgive and pray for them anyway.
After you had forgiven them, ask God to forgive you for the bitterness you carried in your heart. You may never know if that bitterness was stopping you from receiving your next blessing!
Following the ways of the Lord can be difficult at times. Especially, learning how to forgive those who hurt us. We may have Christ in our hearts but, we may have bitterness towards those people that hurt us. Just like God was able to forgive us for our sins, learn how to forgive those who hurt you even if they DO know what they were doing. But, do they know Christ like you do? Sometimes, having bitterness in our hearts can stop us from receiving our next blessing.
Is there someone you need to forgive today? Reach out to them and make it known that you forgive them. Ask God to give you the words to speak to them. Then ask God for forgiveness for you.
Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who may need forgiveness in their lives today.
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. –Ephesians 4:32