Peace family, when was the last time that you examined your heart and chose to pardon those who have sinned against you?
Carrying unforgiveness, bitterness, and grudges takes a lot of energy, and we sometimes don’t even realize that we’re doing it. Do you find yourself replaying in your mind the evil (or even just selfish or foolish) choices that others have committed against you? Do you ever find yourself thinking, “They don’t understand me or care about me, because they did this,” and feeling a stirring of anger in your heart, accompanied by the declaration that you don’t care about or need those people? If so, it might be time to consciously choose to forgive.
Knowing that we need to forgive others doesn’t make it easy. For me, the hard part is feeling like if I don’t protect myself (believing that I have to hold onto those grievances in order to guard myself), then God won’t either, which is not true. Thinking through why someone’s actions hurt us can be helpful to understand, but after a certain point, we need to let go and submit those troubles to God. Another angle that is hard for me, is the feeling that by forgiving someone, I am letting the other person get off free, but that isn’t true, either; that person is accountable to God for his or her actions.
Do you believe that God can take care of that, and you can let those people off the hook? Do you believe that God is your advocate?
Peace family, let’s extend the grace that Christ has given us today. We’ve all sinned against God. Let’s release those who have hurt us and hand our score sheets to God. You might need to write out your thoughts in a journal, or just say out loud, “God, it hurt me when So-and-So did ___. God, thank you that you forgive me for my sins against you, and the ways I have hurt you. God, I forgive So-and-So, and I release the situation to you. Please, give me wisdom, peace, and healing.”
Let’s trust God with our protection, and let’s release ourselves from the burden of holding onto others’ debts against us. Let’s walk out in new freedom and life!