Power To Forgive

He sat across from his friend-the one having an affair with his wife. He didnít know he knew, but he was about to.

John raged when his wife confessed. He suspected something was awry but had no proof. That was before his friendís wife caught them, exposing the whole sordid affair. Now John faced a tough decision: forgive or hate.

John prayed before confronting his friend. It was the only way. I could kill you, he seethed through gritted teeth, but Iím going to forgive you instead. Then he hugged his friend.

Joseph did one better. Jealous brothers who hated him sold him into slavery. He languished in prison for years until finally being released after interpreting the kingís dream. Now he governed a region ravished by famine and his brothers were kneeling before him begging for food. They trembled when he revealed his identity and feared his revenge after their father died.

Joseph could have killed his brothers but chose to forgive: "Donít be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them." (Genesis 50:21)

Forgiveness is difficult but is always the right course when others abuse and hurt us. We can instantly release them from the debt they owe for the wrong they committed. But only by Godís power. No personal infraction will ever exceed our sin against God. His forgiveness is unlimited and unrestricted. Ours should be too. Who needs your forgiveness?

Prayer: Forgiving Lord, empower us to do what seems impossible: forgive.

Martin Wiles mandmwiles@homesc.com
Harleyville, South Carolina, USA

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