Daniel Fast – Day 18 Devotion – “for mercy sake”

“Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you”? – Matt. 18:33

Just a few years ago I had a conversation with somebody who was a part of our church that was rather unpleasant.   Apparently, I was not measuring up to what they thought I should be and they were disappointed in me.  Well, the things said were hurtful and of course b/c I am such a spiritual giant (yeah right) I allowed those hurts to grow into bitterness.

Time went on and that bitterness began to grow and fester into this nasty ugly oozing resentment.  Basically, I was miserable.  I continued to focus on “my” hurt and unforgiveness settled into my heart and life resulting in this horrible period of my life where my whole outlook was damaged.  Then as a result of a time of fasting and study through David Nassar’s book “A Call to Die”, God convicted me of my unforgiving spirit.  I didn’t repent right away.  I didn’t forgive right away, but God (I love those words) wouldn’t leave me alone.

So, I acted out forgiveness, but I did not forgive like Jesus said to in our reading today, He said, “So shall my heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.  After a while of continuing to be miserable b/c I hadn’t truly forgiven, I went to meet with my brother in Christ.  It was a very humbling experience, but so, freeing, confessing is truly cleansing.  Our reading in Proverbs today captures it so well, “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.”

Why do I think or any of us think that withholding forgiveness is some sort of offensive strategy against another?  We think we are the ones hurting them, but in reality, and just like our reading today said, it is torture to us.  My sin of unforgiveness would have been my ruin, I was being held with the cords of my sin of holding a grudge.  The issue is not even with the other person, the issue is with me, and maybe you.  So, for mercy’s sake, let go!!

By the way, me and my brother in Christ, all is good, and we are “on mission” together continuing to build God’s Kingdom.  Forgiveness is that sweet spot for restoration to take place and to Honor the Name of our Great God!  For His Name and His Renown!!!

If you have something in your heart that you are holding against another, for mercy’s sake, the mercy by which you have been forgiven, let it go!  You’ll be glad you did!!  Love ya!

Mike

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