“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Forgiveness is at the root of Christianity. It is the cornerstone of our beliefs. Christ came so we could be forgiven of all our sins. So is it any surprise that forgiveness is the basis of a healthy human existence? No one gets through life unscathed. All of us have to forgive someone at one time or another. And it can be very difficult. But we need to understand that the consequences of unforgiveness can be worse than the offense we need to forgive. Sickness, mental illness, stress, poor life choices can all be the result of a bitter, unforgiving spirit. Are you hurt, bitter, angry, gripped by the inability to forgive? Leanne Payne in her book Listening Prayer says, “We do not forgive evil. We hate evil. But we find the grace to forgive those in the grip of evil, those who did the evil against us.” According to Neil Anderson in his book Bondage Breaker, “Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened. Rather it is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s wrongdoing; it is acknowledging the hurt and hate.” When you do, something deeply spiritual happens. God is able to suddenly help you see His deep love and forgiveness for you and His Holy Spirit gives you the ability to forgive, even when you don’t feel like it. He will help you make the choice to forgive. Set yourself free; choose to forgive today.
Father, forgiving those that have hurt me is hard. Bring to my mind today those that I need to forgive. Then help me, by Your grace, to be honest about my hurt and hate and deliberately choose to forgive them, just as You deliberately died on the cross and forgave me. Set me free from the bondage of unforgiveness. In Jesus’ name.
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