Seething With Hurt
Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us (Matthew 6:12).
"I'll never forgive that man! I'll burn him in front of his wife. I'll rub him in the dirt until he can't even look up to face a worm!" Earl seethed as he drove toward church on Sunday morning.
He had wandered all night over the brushy hills and buttes on his ranch, nursing the hatred he felt toward his best friend. The friend had taken advantage of his lonesome wife. At first she had laughed off his persuasive advances; but they grew on her until in a moment of unexpected passions, she yielded herself.
As Earl slipped quietly through the door of the church, there stood his friend with hand outstretched. For a moment all the hatred in his heart fought with the truth of Christ's words, "If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:15, NLT).
Finally, with a sob in his heart, he shook the hand of the man who had betrayed everything he loved, who had ruined his life for a few minutes of passion.
Suddenly, Earl realized what it was to forgive. A tremendous sense of freedom flooded his heart as the unbearable load of bitterness washed out of him.
I do not know the condition of the hearts of Earl's friend and Earl's wife and whether or not they were repentant. But even if they were not, bitterness and unforgiveness harbored in Earl's heart would have affected him more than it would have affected them. Earl knew he had to be right with God, and forgiveness was the only way.
Earl discovered something few people know; that is, no matter how badly you have been hurt, you can forgive, and in forgiving you can be healed of your hurt.
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:14-15, NIV).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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