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  • Destroy the Evidence

    We all know how important forgiveness is for a Christian.  In fact, it is impossible to be a follower of Christ if we do not have forgiveness of others.  It matters not if you said some sort of prayer, if you have been baptized, or if you profess faith in Christ.  The mark of a true believer is forgiveness.

    Jesus told us how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount.  He said:  “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

    Further more, He said: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

    According to Jesus, we cannot enter into Heaven without our heavenly Father’s forgiveness.  This is pretty difficult to explain away; Jesus said it; it must be true.

    So what is forgiveness according to God?  I love Psalm 103 for many reasons, but for our discussion we will stay with this Psalm’s definition of God’s forgiveness.  The third verse tells us that God forgives all our sins:  “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”  And verse 12 tells us: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  Gone!  We can’t see them nor find them!

    This is how we should forgive others.  We should forgive all their sins, iniquities, which by the way means their immorality or wickedness.  If we should forgive their great sins, should we not forgive their smaller sins?  In fact, we shouldn’t even see their sins because Proverbs tells us that “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”  If I have the love of God in me, I shall not see their sins.  Or at least, their sins shall not prevent me from loving them.

    And, 1 Peter tells us “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”  If I have fervent charity, I shall not even see their sins.

    Forgiveness forgives every one and every sin.  This includes the sins of our husbands, the sins of our children, the sins of our relatives, neighbors, and friends.  Their sins are gone from us!

    So how is this forgiveness shown?  Well, for one thing, the offenses against us should never be repeated.  Proverbs 17:9 says, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.”  If we love, we will not repeat the matter to anyone.  I love the song, “Tell It to Jesus Alone.”

    Two: We treat them just as if they never committed an offence against us.  Isn’t that what God does for us?  Are not His mercies new every morning?  Shouldn’t that mean that we should treat others as God treats us?  We should have fresh love for everyone.

    Isn’t the love of God wonderfully expressed in the verse: “We love him, because he first loved us.”  He loved us while we were yet sinners.  He loved us first!  If we believe this verse, shouldn’t we love others first?

    There is so much to write about this topic of forgiveness.  We must forgive every one every day.  I try to have a fresh start with everyone, no how many times they have done me wrong.  And as for the past, we cannot globally forgive someone.  It seems as the memories surface of hurt and pain at the hands of someone, that is a new opportunity to forgive.  I ask God to forgive me for holding on to such a memory, forgive the person who caused the pain, and release it all and let it go.

    I want to especially share with you what Corrie Ten Boom learned about forgiveness.  It especially blessed me and taught me a little more about forgiveness.

    Corrie Ten Boom is the author of The Hiding Place.  She was in prison camps during World War 2 for hiding Jewish people.  Through God’s grace Corrie Ten Boom was able to forgive her tormentors in prison; that we can understand, but it was an after story of forgiveness, which taught me so much.  She had a public ministry; she traveled the world teaching about the forgiveness of Christ to whoever would listen, and some woman made a lot of trouble for her.  She lied, tried to ruin her name, and much more.  Someone asked Corrie if she forgave the woman, and she answered quickly, “Oh, yes, and I have all the evidence of what she said and did, just in case I would ever need it.”  Then the other person told her that she had not really forgiven the woman or she would have destroyed the evidence.  It would be destroyed and forgotten, never to be spoken of again, gone.  Immediately, Corrie realized the truth of those words and she got out the papers and evidence and burned them in the fireplace.  Gone.

    That really spoke to my own heart.  I was sure I had forgiven a certain someone over the years who had deeply hurt me and had left many emotional scars.  Time and time again, as a memory would arise, I would confess it, and ask forgiveness for me for holding it inside of me, and I would forgive this person.  But on occasion, I would still talk about her.  But now I have destroyed the evidence.  I do not talk about her anymore unless it is a good memory.  I have asked God to remove it all from me, and He did.  I choose no longer to be a victim of hers but a victor through Christ.

    I’ve never heard it put quite this way before, but it is true.  If we destroy the evidence, we will not even remember the offence.  Our love for our families, relatives, friends …

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