Barnabas deserves a spot with other noted New Testament saints—a disciple of Jesus on the level with Paul, John, Peter, and James. Each generation in the ongoing march of the church needs more saints like Barnabas—people who give generously, and encourage others to persevere in the faith.
The 32nd Psalm is a joyful testimony from the pen of David, thanking God for His gift of forgiveness. No sin is too big for God to forgive and the joy and relief of knowing that nothing is between you and God is beyond description.
When there is conflict in the workplace, discord in the family, controversy at church, dissension among the school board, friction at the sewing circle, disagreement between pastors, there are three options: flee, fight, or forgive. Which is the best choice? And how do we choose it?
Have you been forgiven much, or little? We tend to have a wrong view of how much we have been forgiven. Our perception of our own sins and God’s forgiveness will affect our willingness to forgive others. How we handle the offenses we encounter will have a direct effect on how God forgives us.
Many people struggle for years with the emotional pain and depression that goes with an unforgiven sin against them, because they do not understand forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a matter of forgetting about it. What is forgiveness? Why forgive? How can I forgive someone who has wronged me?
“How do you plead?” the judge asked. I swallowed. I hadn’t realized how difficult this would be. “Guilty,” I answered. Guilty. We have all felt guilty at one time or another. More than that, we have all been guilty.
Discrimination, unfairness, rejection, injustices, offenses; what should be done with life's inequalities? He is a foolish man who insists on stubbing his toe just because there is a stumbling block in his path. Christ showed us what to do with rejections and hurts; let us learn from His example.
How does a Christian respond when he's wronged or treat unfairly? He faces a choice to become patient or revengeful. Christ prayed for his tormentors "Father forgive them: for they know not what they do." Is this how we respond?
If we don not forgive, God will not forgive us, but when we choose to forgive, God will help us. Forgiveness doesn't come easy, but unforgiveness destroys human relationships and our relationship with God. We need each other. We need God. Choose to Forgive.