by Pastor Tim Burt
There are truly some incredible accomplishments and amazing feats that people have achieved in this world. There are those that have swam the English Channel, climbed Mt. Everest, biked across America, held their breath underwater for over four minutes, pulled a semi-truck trailer over one block’s distance with a chain and their bare hands, and on and on… World records are continually broken every day. There are many books written on amazing feats that people have accomplished.
Now at first, that statement might not even make you stop and think, so I suggest you do just that. Think about how many times you remember what someone did or said to you that still makes you feel mad, offended, or bugged when it comes to your remembrance. You might at first think, I don’t keep grudges or a record of wrongs. I don’t get offended. I don’t get bugged easily. The truth probably is, you do much more than you realize. You probably easily remember something that someone did that bothered and hurt you. Can you? If not, don’t worry. That moment will come to your remembrance suddenly and soon. You’ll hear yourself talk about in your mind or in a conversation. And then in response to me you might think, Well I’m not trying to keep a record of wrongs. And to that I would say, But you are!
If every person that we deal with frequently had a clean slate at each new encounter, our patience level and maybe even our love and appreciation for the good in them would go so much further.
We hope and pray that God is that way with us—not remembering our wrongs but instead dealing with us kindly instead of what we might deserve. Psalm 103:10 (TLB)
says, “He has not punished us as we deserve for all our sins,..” He does not keep a record of the wrongs believers commit. It is one of the awesome qualities of His character and love and it is our inherited promise through our faith in Jesus Christ. Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Yet, we don’t seem to want to be as generously forgiving and merciful with others as we hope God is with us. Does that seem fair to you?
The Bible tells us God is love and that love keeps no record of wrongs. It sounds impossible but it’s not. It’s supernatural! It’s God’s nature to forgive and not remember when someone sincerely repents saying their sorry. He removes it forever. That’s what Jesus’ blood has made provision for. It covers and washes our offenses and wrong-doings from God’s eyes. That brings us relief and allows us to be intimate with God without fear or threat. And He would like you to practice by faith, that kind of forgiveness and keeping no record of wrongs with others.
Are you and I that forgiving? Are we that overlooking and patient with people in our life? Not without God’s help we aren’t! But could we be? Could we regularly live in this amazing achievement? Only if we would continually reflect on God’s merciful nature, love, and patience with us. Then so much more grace would flow from us toward others. If we only remembered that the offense that is bugging us at the moment, is one that Jesus has forgiven us of.
We’ve all been hurt by people. I’m no exception. There are some pretty cruel—even evil people out there. And as we all know, “Hurt people hurt people.” You and I have hurt people. Maybe not intentionally, but maybe accidentally or maybe because of our own selfishness. If we realize it, we should correct it and apologize. It’s how we grow and learn to be loving and kind.
God is not asking you to be a punching bag for evil or cruel people. He may allow you to appropriately confront a situation, but that person may not have enough or any of God’s character to deal with it right. In that case, there are times when we just have to walk away. There are some times when we need to create space between ourselves and others—not unforgiveness, but space! There are other times when a person is so continuously broken and toxic that we need to keep our distance and forgive them but avoid them so what we can continue to love and pray for them. You know those who will hurt you again and again. It’s critical to forgive them and pray for them. Your freedom will come from those actions. God can use your prayers as an opportunity to influence their heart and draw them to Himself so that they might change. That’s what Jesus did from the cross when the soldiers were dividing up His garments. Luke 23:34 (NKJV) “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” That is what Stephen did when he was being stoned for following Christ. Acts 7:59-60 (NIV) “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep (died).
One day the Lord told me that I was keeping a record of a man’s wrongs and that I was stuck in unforgiveness toward him. I had to repent and totally forgive this man. The Lord instructed me to pray for him. As I did, the ill feelings began to lift and I could finally feel the forgiveness that I had given him by faith. What a burden to get off my back! Forgiveness is not a natural experience. It’s a supernatural experience! It brings healing and allows you to move forward in freedom.
There are some people who have done some amazing feats that are fun to read about. Are you ready to try one of the greatest feats of all? Are you ready to practice keeping no records of wrong? Go for it—but only with the Lord’s help. You’ll fail in your own flesh! It is an amazing feat that will liberate you from carrying the list of wrongs and bad feelings toward others that have burdened you for far too long. Being merciful is love. Forgiving others is freedom. Keeping no record of wrongs is the development of the character of God in you! And all this allows the joy of the Lord to return to your life and move forward with excitement!
Mark 11:25 (NKJV) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against
anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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