"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
"If you don't feel like forgiving, that probably means you need to forgive!" Feelings are powerful, are they not? The feeling of being in love can override all rational thought. The feeling of fear can cause us to react without thinking. Feelings are not bad, but feelings can often stop us from doing what we need to do, simply because we just aren't feeling it! When we experience the forgiveness of Christ, though, it transcends our feelings. The Bible tells those of us who are Christ-followers that the Holy Spirit works to produce supernatural fruit in our lives – but feelings are not the fruit! So when it comes to this week's topic (forgiveness), we need to look past our feelings. In fact, when you don't want to forgive someone, that is a clue that you should forgive them! The Bible tells us to forgive others because Jesus first forgave us. Jesus is always the model for forgiveness. He forgave the people who spit on him, cursed at him, and even his closest friends who abandoned him and denied they knew him. We can all understand how He probably didn't feel it. But He pushed past His feelings in order to accomplish God's will (Luke 22:42). Shouldn't we do the same?
Act Read Galatians 5:22-23 and remember, the fruit is what we are to be filled with. And being filled with the fruit will always, ultimately, feel better than any of your feelings. Disengage from your feelings that keep you from forgiving and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit.
Pray Dear God, please help me to trust that I can forgive others, even when my feelings don't want to forgive. I forgive _____ (their name) now, because You first forgave me when I didn't deserve it. Help the fruit of the Spirit grow in me as I follow You and not my feelings. In Jesus' name, Amen.