The Key of Forgiveness
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Every guy likes their power-tool collection. I know I do. And there's this funny thing about us guys, in that a lot of us have no idea what to do with half our power tools, but we still feel better about ourselves because we have them.
God has a power tool that He wants all of us as His children to have. And not just to have it, but to use it. That power tool is forgiveness.
Really, there is perhaps nothing we have at our disposal that is more powerful than forgiveness. What does forgiveness do? Well, let me tell you.
Forgiveness unlocks the bondage of chains from our past-whether it's Christ forgiving us for our screw-ups or us forgiving others for theirs, it sets us free. Forgiveness unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It breaks the power of the chains of our shame and bitterness.
All this is true, yet for some reason, as simple as forgiveness could be, a lot of us seem to not get it. So here are five things forgiveness is not to help all of us out:
Number one, forgiveness is never easy. I'm just being honest, but it's true. Sometimes it takes a continual choice to forgive. And remember, forgiveness wasn't even easy for God-it cost Him His only Son.
Number two, forgiveness isn't forgetting. A lot of us remain in prison simply because we think forgiveness and forgetting are the same thing, but they aren't. Forgetting is a change of memory, but forgiveness is a change of heart.
Number three, forgiveness isn't overlooking evil. Simply put, if we overlooked the evil then we wouldn't need to forgive. Forgiveness comes in light of the evil, in spite of it, not in ignorance of it.
Number four, forgiveness isn't destructive. Forgiveness does not empower destructive behaviors or abuse to continue, but hands them over to God for Him to be the judge.
Number five, forgiveness isn't the same as approval. Think about it, if you approved of what happened, then you wouldn't need to forgive.
There is more to forgiveness than these things, but even these will set you free as you apply them in your life. If you will begin today, you will quickly feel the freedom.
Prayer Lord Jesus,
Thank You for forgiving me! I know that forgiveness is never going to be easy, so I choose to forgive the people who have hurt me. Please set me free from the guilt, shame, bitterness, and pain of my past!