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October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013

"The Healing Choice to Forgive"

“Never pay back evil with more evil…Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12: 17, 21 NLT

How do you normally react when people hurt you intentionally? Retaliate! Get even! We are often at our creative best when we are plotting and planning how to get even with others.

The Bible teaches us that we have a choice: we can get even or we can forgive. The choice is ours. It encourages us to forgive rather than to get even. It even takes it one step farther, encouraging us to forgive first.

In his book, “Why Am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Am?” John Powell tells the story of walking down the street with a friend and stopping to buy a newspaper. The man selling the paper was discourteous and very rude.

As they walked away John’s friend turned back to the man and said, “You have a nice day, now.” John asked his friend, “Is that man always that rude to you?” “Yes,” he replied. John then asked, “Are you always nice to him?" The friend said, “Yes, I’m not going to let one man ruin my day.”

The moment you make the decision to retaliate or seek revenge is also the moment you have given up control of your life. You have allowed the person with whom you are angry to take control of your life.

You are reacting to the situation, which is always a position of weakness. He or she is controlling you because you are reacting to them. The choice to forgive is actually a position of strength, the Christ-like position. You make the decision of what to do.

The Bible teaches, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the scripture says, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back.’ says the Lord.” Romans 12: 19 NLT

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don