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Forgiveness. Lots of people talk about it. But very few actually do it.

Oh, they try...and try and try. But trying just doesn't get the job done. You can come around and talk to those "try-ers" years later and they're still carrying around hurts and resentments.

They're still saying, "Well, I'm trying to forgive that person, but what they did to me was just so bad that I just haven't been able to do it yet."

That's why the Word of God doesn't say anything about "trying" to forgive. It simply commands us to forgive "one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:32). Since God has never commanded us to do anything without providing us with the ability to do it, we can be sure He has given every believer the power to forgive in any and every situation.

You may think it is hard to forgive. It's not. Nothing you do by the power of God is hard. You can make it hard by messing around trying to do it in your own strength. But if you'll learn to rest in God through faith in His Word, the struggle will disappear.

You see, if you'll trust God's Word, that Word will fight the fight for you in any area of life. You won't have to wrestle your problems to the ground and solve them with your own great willpower. All you'll have to do is open your Bible and start speaking out God's Word about the situation. Release your faith in that Word and it will conquer any problem - including unforgiveness.

That's right! God's Word will fight the fight of forgiveness for you. If you'll find out what God has to say on the subject - and believe it - it will drive unforgiveness completely out of your life.

Now when I say it will drive unforgiveness from your life, you need to understand, I'm not just talking about a major resentment you've been carrying against someone.

I'm also talking about those "little" hurts and offenses that cause you to avoid someone. I'm talking about those memories that cause you to treat someone with less warmth and love because they have injured you in some way.

I'm talking about any attitude you have that falls short of the full light and love of God Himself.

Some people don't want to give up those kinds of things. They'll say, "I love God. Hallelujah! My fellowship with Him is fine. I'm just having a tough time fellowshipping with Brother So-and-So. But after what he did to me, I just can't help it."

According to the Bible, people who say things like that are lying. They're trying to walk in darkness and light at the same time, and 1 John 1 tells us it can't be done: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth" (vv. 5-6).

Notice John didn't stutter there. He didn't say, "Well, bless your heart. Unforgiveness is a sin, but I know how hard these things can be sometimes." No, he said bluntly: "If you walk in darkness and say you have partnership with God, you're lying about it."

The sad thing is many Christians who are walking in unforgiveness don't know they're in darkness. They think that because they read their Bible and say "Amen" at church they're in fellowship with God.

But a man who does not forgive is hating his brother, and 1 John 2:11 says, "He that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."

How far outside of love do you have to go before it can be called hate? As far as God is concerned, just one step outside of love is hate. To Him there are no shades of gray. In His eyes, anything less than love is sin.

Let me show you something that will mark your thinking. We've already read that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If you'll look at 1 John 4:8, you'll find that "God is love." Add to that the fact we learned in 1 John 2:11 about hate being darkness.

Put that all together and you can paraphrase 1 John 1:5 and say, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is love, and in Him is no hate at all."

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.

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