Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)
Forgiveness can be a complex process. Many traumas are rife with deep emotions, making it extremely hard to maneuver our thinking into a place of forgiveness. Other situations involve long-standing relationships with all their complicated nuances. Sometimes it is easier to ignore God’s commandment to forgive, hoping that all the pain will go away. But instead, the pain festers and infects our whole soul. Paul lists bitterness, rage, anger, and all types of evil behavior as the diseases we contract from this spiritual infection. But there is a cure. It is forgiveness. Now, forgiveness is not forgetting or living without consequences, but it is a process by which we can stop letting the pain hurt us over and over again. Forgiveness is a choice. It is a choice to acknowledge our emotional hurt and then choosing to forgive and not holding the offense against the person anymore. It is surrendering the situation to God. The reason we can do this is because of Christ’s forgiveness of us. We reap the benefit of His grace. May God help us to give this same grace to others. In doing so, we will be set free.
Father, show me those areas of bitterness and unforgiveness in my life. Help me to acknowledge them, own them and then give them back to You. Then Lord, in obedience and with Your strength, help me forgive every offense You bring to my mind. Set me, free Lord, I pray.
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