I heard the following on the Hallmark movie channel the other day..."To be truly happy we need two things. Love and forgiveness."
Sounds good, I thought, but something was missing so I added the following comments and posted it on FaceBook: "First we need to RECEIVE God's love and forgiveness. Second we need to GIVE our love and forgiveness. Both parts are really necessary in order to be happy. Think about it." Well, I got 10 "likes" and 2 comments. One of the comments was "The definition of love is God." So true!
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. John 3:16 CEV
Yes, God is the absolute definiton of love. There is no better example. But isn't it crazy that we would/could receive His love and forgiveness, and not extend the same to others? We recently did a study on forgiveness in our Sunday LifeGroups. I have to tell you, I believe it was one of the best studies we've ever done. A lot of people are holding on to unforgiveness, and it is affecting them in such negative ways. Ways they don't even recognize. They will never, ever be truly happy until they can forgive and extend love to those who have hurt, betrayed or disappointed them. I was recently tested with this thing called forgiveness. God quickly reminded me that I had no choice but to forgive. Had I not been willing to do that, my life would have drastically changed and with that change, much sadness would have followed. I actually think forgiveness is more for the person who needs to extend it than the one to whom it is extended. This should actually be about FREEDOM. Until we can extend love and forgiveness, we can never completely experience freedom in Christ.
Are you holding on to hurt and unforgiveness? Ask God to release you from that. Ask Him to free you from the chains of unforgiveness; then you will be truly happy.