HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO FORGIVE AND BLESS OUR ENEMIES?
Paul writes, “Give place unto wrath” (Romans 12:19). He is saying, “Suffer the wrong. Lay it down and move on. Get a life in the Spirit.” However, if we refuse to forgive the hurts done to us, we have to face these consequences:
- We’ll become guiltier than the person who inflicted our wound.
- God’s mercy and grace toward us will be shut off. Then, as things begin to go wrong in our lives, we won’t understand them, because we’ll be in disobedience.
- Our persecutor’s vexations against us will continue to rob us of peace. He’ll become the victor, succeeding in giving us a permanent wound.
- Because Satan succeeds in driving us to thoughts of revenge, he’ll be able to lead us into deadlier sins. And we’ll commit transgressions far worse than these.
The writer of Proverbs advises, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11). In other words, we’re to do nothing until our anger has subsided. We’re never to make a decision or follow through with any action while we are still angry.
We bring glory to our heavenly Father whenever we overlook hurts and forgive the sins done to us. To do so builds character in us. When we forgive as God forgives, he brings us into a revelation of favor and blessing we have never known.
Jesus commands us to love those that have made themselves our enemies by doing three things:
1. We are to bless them
2. We are to do good to them
3. We are to pray for them
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”