Forgiveness Produces Freedom

What happens if you extend your arm to your side, holding a 16 oz glass of water for one hour? Would you keep it straight, even though gravitational pull is affecting it? The first few minutes wouldn’t be a problem. But soon your arm would begin to fatigue, you would start feeling soreness and perhaps begin to tremble as you kept the relatively small item raised. Are you inwardly holding on to hurt and pain – things that have been done to you by others? How long have you been holding these things?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

– Ephesians 4:31 NIV

A vital component of the Christian faith, forgiveness challenges every believer. Jesus taught us to pray, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12, ESV). According to God’s Word, you cannot expect God to forgive you if you are unwilling to forgive others.

When someone has wronged you, it can be tempting to hold onto your anger and bitterness, to seek revenge or to cut that person out of your life. But you are called to a higher standard. You are called to forgive others, just as God has forgiven you.

God’s forgiveness is unconditional and complete. When you confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, God forgives you because of what Christ did for your sins. He removes your sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).

Forgiving others gives you freedom designed by God and relieves you of the burden that weighs you down.

Forgiving means to release those who have done you wrong from your anger and bitterness and entrust them to God’s justice and mercy. It means seeking reconciliation and restoration and letting go of your desire for revenge. It’s necessary for your spiritual health and well-being. Holding onto your anger and bitterness poisons your heart and separates you from God’s love and grace. But when you forgive others, you open yourself up to God’s healing and transformative power.

You have to have humility, grace and a willingness to relinquish your desire for vengeance in order to forgive others.

Today’s One Thing

Hold a 16 oz bottle of water straight out from your side and see how long you can hold it. Don’t allow someone else’s wrongdoing to create fatigue in you. Forgive them, and experience how the Lord will free you from the burden hindering you.

Go Deeper

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