Through Jesus Christ I was able to forgive others and also ask others to forgive me...now a days it's easy to expect someone to forgive us for our wrong doings but not as easy for us to forgive others. Paul clearly states how God intends for us to live in Ephesians 4:31 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
Three years ago my Father Arthur Lee McDougald was wrongfully murdered by police officers Aug 10 2010. His death devastated our entire family and left me bitter, angry, full of rage, and with a unforgiving heart. These same police officers continue to stalk and harass me even while with my daughters and mother. Some time after his death I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart and began my walk with The Lord. While reading the word this particular scripture stuck with me Ephesians 6: 10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
It made me realize that this man who murdered my father and still continues to stalk me is in darkness and is simply being used by the evil one. Once I found out who my true enemy was I was able to forgive him cause he does not know what he is doing because when you are of the world you are blinded by satan and trapped in a world that will lead you to hell and the only way to be delivered is through Christ. None of us are perfect so if I expect God to forgive me for all the wrong I once did in my past I must also forgive others regardless of how big or small the situation was cause the God we serve loved us enough to send his one and only son to die for our sins. So we must also in return love others cause he created us for that purpose. Sometimes it's hard to forgive others when they have cut you deep and did things that can't be changed but it's important that we, as Christians understand who we are fighting against so that we don't fall victim to satans many schemes and allow him to bring us out of our covenant with Christ. We will never fully understand the power of forgiveness if we aren't willing to hop out on a limb to resolve a situation that might be lingering and taking away from our life with Christ.
Once I fully understood the battle that I was in, it motivated me to grow closer to The Lord and ever since I've been able to let that anger and resentment against that man go and break that chain that was holding me back from living and doing what The Lord wants me to. It crushed me seeing my father laid out in a pool of his own blood but God showed me through a vision that my Father is up above and for that I am forever grateful. Ask yourself has anyone done you wrong lately? And if so what would Jesus do? What did you do? We as Christians are given a blueprint on how we should live and the more we read and study the bible and build a strong prayer life with The Lord, the stronger we will become in him. Forgiveness isn't always easy but I can tell you from my life changing experience that it is well worth it.
GUEST BLOGGER FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER: TIMOTHY