In the above scripture, the Apostle Paul counsels us to exercise ourselves unto Godliness. He says we should endeavor to avoid unnecessary chit-chats (The King James Bible calls it old wives fables and myths). But instead to exercise ourselves unto Godliness.
Exercise is profitable. Everyone knows that. But not everyone exercises themselves. Why? Because it takes some effort to really exercise. It takes commitment; it takes time.
Physical exercise of the body has great profits, especially as it relates to our health. However, exercising ourselves to Godliness has greater profits.
Apostle Paul is using the analogy of physical exercise here because it takes an effort to exercise. It’s got to take your time, and you’ve got to give up some things to hit the gym and exercise yourself.
He wants us to know that we’ve got to let some things go to be able to exercise ourselves unto Godliness. It will take some effort, but the rewards are immeasurable.
Exercise Thyself Unto Forgiveness
As the year is gradually winding up, if there is one area we need to look back, look forward, and constantly exercise ourselves, it is the area of forgiveness. From time to time, we need to come before God and willfully exercise ourselves unto forgiveness.
Many times it won’t be easy to carry out this exercise especially considering the magnitude of offenses that took place. It’s not easy to give love where you were given hate.
But realizing the weight of unforgiveness, we need to sit down, pray and say, “LORD, help me to do this. Help me to forgive.”
“Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others].” Mark 11: 23-15 (AMP)
Earlier on, Jesus was talking about praying and moving mountains. Then He concluded by saying, “Hey, you’ll need to forgive, else, you won’t move any mountains.”
That’s because the biggest mountains are the ones we create within ourselves. If the mountains within are not leveled, the ones without does not move.
Unforgiveness prevents us from moving our mountains because it builds a bigger mountain within us.
As someone said, “Unforgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime.”
“Unforgiveness can rob you of your healing, answers to prayers, and peace of mind. It can hinder your prayer (while you’re busy binding the devil, you won’t know that unforgiveness is the major problem). It can block your access to God’s presence.”
Forgiveness is the willingness to forgive yourself and others for any pain they might have caused you.
Yes, you have to start by forgiving yourself first. Stop blaming yourself for the many mistakes you’ve made in the past. If you’ve confessed and repented of your past errors, God has indeed forgiven you. It’s time to move on in faith.
You also have to take it a step further. Stop blaming others for the many wrong things they’ve done against you. Stop feeling angry and bitter.
Yes, it’s not easy to forgive, especially when you consider the scale of the issue in question. In some cases, forgiveness is like swimming against the storm. Everything in you wants to hold on to your grudge and continue planning retaliation. However, if God can forgive us of our deepest and darkest sins, we need to forgive others as well.
“Here’s the thing: We do not forgive because the persons involved have repented and apologized. We forgive because that’s the only way to set ourselves free from their cage and connect to our blessings.”
The Bible says:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” – Ephesians 4:32.
Pray for grace to exercise yourself in forgiveness today and always. And let the love of God rule your heart.