The Key of Forgiveness
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice... forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Countless Christians live under a glass ceiling. Are you one of them?
Perhaps you feel like you just cannot get any closer to God. You feel trapped in cycles of sin where anger, bitterness, lost tempers, and hurt feelings ruin your relationships, or perhaps they just simply keep your relationships from becoming all you know they could be. If this describes you, then chances are you are in a prison of unforgiveness. Nothing else can set you free except forgiving the people who have hurt you, and you can't go forward in life until you are free.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions about forgiveness out there. Here are five things that forgiveness does:
First, forgiveness believes that people are bigger than their blunders. I have been hurt like you have been, but forgiveness means believing people are bigger than their blunders because that's how God has believed in me, bigger than the mess that I've made.
Second, forgiveness allows a second chance. I know it sounds crazy, but this is the forgiveness God has given us, and we are called to the same thing. If we don't go this far with forgiveness then God's grace in our lives is just a theoretical principle waiting to be lived out.
Third, forgiveness demonstrates the power of the cross in your relationships. We cannot be a people who just celebrate the cross once a year or wear it as some jewelry around our neck. No, it has to show up daily in our relationships with each other as we demonstrate the power of Calvary by forgiving each other.
Fourth, forgiveness surrenders the right to get even. It takes the, I'm going to get you back for this, and gives that over to the Lord. It surrenders the right to punish.
Fifth, forgiveness replaces wanting revenge with wanting God's best. Instead of wanting to harm the person who hurt you, it makes the choice to want God's best in their lives.
All this is not to say that forgiveness is easy. It isn't easy. But, if we want to be free and experience the full benefit of God's forgiveness and grace in our lives, then we need to forgive. Until then, we are simply forging with our own hands links in a chain that bind us to the pain and shame of our past, throwing anger and bitterness into our future.
Is that what you want? Don't you want something different? Then choose with me to forgive today.
Prayer Father God,
I want the best of all You desire for me and I know that means I need to forgive those who have hurt me. I forgive them right now, releasing them to You. Pour out Your best for them and please set me free!