Colossians 2:6-7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

I hope that all of you had a good Thanksgiving holiday. There were, as always, those who didn’t have Thursday past off, thinking nurses, doctors, law enforcement officers, paramedics, EMT’s, firefighters, our military personnel, especially those serving overseas, dispatchers, those that serve as someone to help others that might call to a suicide hotline for help.

This is an especially difficult time of the year for many people. Reflection into our past starts at this time, and usually, our adversary brings out only the difficult times. The devil would have us remember the arguments and disagreements we have had, especially with family members. Many of those still an open wound. Forgiveness can be a huge struggle!

Studies on forgiveness show that practicing forgiveness can improve our mental and physical health. When we feel we have been lied to, betrayed, and just been used by someone we want revenge. And revenge is a choice! We choose to take that road, it leads to greater problems with anger and thoughts of when and how we will “get even”. It is a vicious circle, and the devil is only too pleased to remind us as to how we have been abused!

Please remember, forgiveness is also a choice! We find that, even as Christians, forgiveness is not easy, yet we are told in Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I (Jesus) say to you, 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, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

It is not in our DNA to forgive. It is not in our hearts to pray for people that spitefully use us and persecute us. But we MUST forgive others if we want to be forgiven by the Lord. Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. We have the choice of forgiving and being forgiven or continuing down the same road into bitterness and revenge. Choose life! Choose forgiveness!

The following verses found in Proverbs 25:21-22 have always been puzzling to me. If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you. So far this has been the best interpretation I have found: ‘As metals are melted by placing fiery coals on the metal, so is the heart of an enemy softened by such kindness.’

As this Christmas season is at hand seek the Lord and He will meet you at your point of need!

Contrast these two verses found in Proverbs 25:28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. Spiritually speaking broken walls to our heart are open to evil thoughts and temptations. Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

I pray this week that you will choose to forgive and in turn, maybe for the first time feel the release as God forgives you! 2 Corinthians 3:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Have a blessed Sunday and make it a great week!

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