Went back to listen to the sermon about “Letting Go of Bitterness” from this past Sunday service at Emmaus (http://www.emmausspringfield.com/)…here a summary/paraphrase of a part that really touched me. I am so bummed I had to work and miss this service. Grateful that they upload pod-casts!
"Forgiving someone does not remove the consequences of their actions…Your forgiveness has nothing to do with whether they asked for it or deserve it. As a believer, you should know, there is nothing you could ever to do to have earned God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of us is conditional on us forgiving others. Matthew 6:14 - “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
There may be men and women I may meet on this earth who simply do not like me, gossip about me, or do not approve of me. This may “hurt my feelings” temporarily but what I know for sure is that God LOVES me and has before I was even born. He is and ALWAYS has been there with open arms, loving me completely, just the way I am! Knowing that fills me up with so much joy and makes me realize that I am not to live to impress mankind, but that I am to live to glorify Him. I am to live to bring light to this world and to follow Christ. In my opinion, it is not that easy to be like Christ in this world we are raised up in. I fail everyday. I pray that God can continue to mold me and make me more like Him. I want to bring nothing but love into this world while I am blessed to be living here upon it.