One of the barriers standing between forgiveness is stubborn hearts as certain individuals are unable to forgive or forget a previous transgression. This unwillingness to let go of the pain inflicted shuts the door on the potential for love. This reluctance sets the stage for bitterness, like an invisible poison that slowly kills relationships. Unless there is a willingness to let God in to mend and repair fences, reconciliation is merely a dream.
Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will], Revelation 3:19.
In the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, John gives an honest assessment of seven churches. While a few receive compliments, several are exposed for previous actions, beliefs and deeds. Despite this list of flaws, John uses an analogy of a door to illustrate free will. God is willing to offer forgiveness, yet souls must demonstrate an enthusiastic spirit of repentance. Every day God is like an eager visitor, knocking on the door of your heart, but the Lord waits for your invitation. There is no forced entry.
Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne, Revelation 3:20-21.
At the end of this passage, God reveals another obstacle in the way of forgiveness. Overcoming the world involves mindsets, philosophies and traditions that have become embraced by most of society. This makes following God’s commandments, decrees and precepts that much more difficult. Peer pressure only complicates any desires to seek God’s ways. Free will is a daily exercise full of choices with the hope that you stay near enough so that you can hear God’s voice. For those who fulfill this call, motivation comes as God forgives you. Thus, as believers pay it forward, forgiveness opens the door for love to flow out of your heart, passed on to others.
by Jay Mankus