But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
The Power to Forgive
There are times when we need to forgive someone for something they have done.
On occasion it can seem so difficult...almost impossible.
But forgiveness is not an option for you and me as followers of Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is an act of the will.
You can forgive.
In fact, Jesus said that we even need to love our enemies,
those who may not want peace with us.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:44
"Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you,
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
How can you do that?
Because God has done the same thing for you.
In Romans 5:10
When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.
When you and I embrace salvation through Jesus Christ,
that same love of God is poured out in our hearts.
(See Romans 5:1 and 5).
As a result, we can forgive those who have wronged us.
Once you have forgiven someone, it can still affect your emotions.
I like what Corrie ten Boom shared.
She went through several sleepless weeks
over something that someone had done to her.
She tried to forgive the person; but, still, when she would think about it,
she would respond emotionally.
When she shared this with her pastor,
he had her look up at the bell tower of the church.
He reminded her that the bell would continue to ring
even after the person ringing it had let go of the rope.
But given a little time, the bell would slow down until it was silent.
It may take time for your emotions to settle even when you have let go of the rope.
Just let go of the rope and forgive.
You can do it!