I’m sure you’ve heard it said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself yet expecting the other guy to die. Not sure it could be said better. When we hold onto unforgiveness we allow its bitterness to poison our own hearts and make us feel sick. But when we choose to forgive or to release someone, WE are really the ones who will experience freedom, because in letting go, we ourselves become free of the prison unforgiveness creates for our soul. That familiar, cyclical thought pattern, the daily reliving of memories, the uneasy yucky feeling in the depth of our being. When we consider freedom from all that, forgiveness is worth it.
It’s so much easier said than done, I know, but that’s why we very often have to do it by faith. We are called to live a life of faith in every arena. God is always challenging us to come up higher, and the good news is if we have His love inside of us (not the average, earthly kind that finds it easy to love and forgive those who are lovable) but the agape love, the very essence of Who He is, flowing inside of us and we allow it to dominate not only our feelings but our actions, we are truly empowered to do it.
One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” When God forgives our mistakes, He said He does it for His own sake, not ours! Why? Because He wants to bless us! The knowledge of our sins would always come between us and He desires to close that gap in order to be reunited with us. When we do the same for those in our lives, we are not giving them a “free pass”, but we are allowing ourselves the freedom from the chains of unforgiveness that hold back the peace Jesus paid such a high price to give us. We can forgive because WE have been forgiven. Sometimes that means forgiving ourselves, too. Often, we are quick to forgive others but do not dispense the same grace to ourselves when we miss the mark.
Prayer: Father, I thank you that you have forgiven me for my past and extend forgiveness to me when I miss the mark and repent. Forgive me, today, for holding onto unforgiveness, and help me to forgive others by faith. When old thoughts or feelings of bitterness try to resurface, remind me that I have forgiven them, my heart is healing, and those thoughts have no power over me anymore. I walk in your peace and I’m covered by your grace every day, in Jesus’ name, Amen. ~Be Blessed, Jenny