“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
The verse above reveals one of the greatest hindrances to ones ability to be an effectual witness for Christ. In Paul’s address to Philemon, he was preparing him for one of the greatest difficulties he would have to overcome, but Paul knew that Philemon’s ability to effectively communicate his faith hinged on whether he could overcome this difficulty.
This whole book is about one word: forgiveness. Paul was telling Philemon that his ability to forgive Onesimus would effect his ability to communicate his faith to others. Paul was teaching Philemon that if he could forgive Onesimus, that his forgiveness would make his witness of the faith more effectual.
There are many believers who are good witnesses for Jesus Christ who could become a better witness if they learned to forgive. There are many good Sunday school teachers who do a wonderful job of teaching their lessons, but their ability to teach would become effectual if they learned to forgive. There are many preachers who have been wronged by fellow preachers or past church members whose sermons would become effectual and have a greater impact on their listeners if they learned to forgive.
The greatest hindrance to your ability to communicate your faith to others is your unforgiveness of someone who has wronged you. You may see results now in the areas of your service for the LORD, but those results are paltry compared to the results you could have if you would forgive that one person who has wronged you. Your love for others may display a wonderful faith, but that love is shallow compared to the effectiveness of your faith if you would forgive that person who has deeply hurt you. Your eloquence and delivery of a message, lesson, or even the plan of salvation may be second to none, but the effectiveness of your delivery would become more effectual if you forgave the person who has wronged and deeply hurt you.
My friend, nothing will communicate your faith better than your ability to forgive people who have wronged you. Your faith becomes real to the world when they see that you find in yourself the ability to forgive. There is nothing that makes a faith more effectual than for the person who is wronged to forgive the one who wronged them and then witness to them and to tell them of Christ’s forgiveness for mankind. When others see Christ’s forgiveness in your life, it makes your faith effectual.
Let me ask you; who is it that the LORD has brought to your mind in this devotional? Who is that person who has wronged you so deeply that you thought you could never forgive them? The ability to effectively communicate your faith to the world will be determined by your ability to forgive. Forgiveness is the greatest way to communicate your faith effectively, but unforgiveness is the greatest hindrance to your faith making an impact on another’s life.
Are you willing to let people go to Hell because you won’t forgive someone who has wronged you? People who don’t even know your situation will not receive your witness of the faith because of your inability to forgive. Let me encourage you to forgive whoever it is who has wronged you so that you can effectually communicate your faith to others.