This past Fourth of July holiday got me thinking about the word Freedom, what it means as a citizen of a free and democratic nation, like the United States of America and more eternally, what it means for us as free believers in Jesus Christ. One such freedom in Christ is the freedom to forgive others, just as Christ has forgiven us.
Learning how to forgive has been a process for me. Just ask my husband, Pat of 39 years. He has been on the receiving end of the silent treatment, repressing my anger, until I finally explode, or the constant reminders of all his past mistakes. My unforgiveness has affected my relationship with God, others and myself. It affected my spiritual, physical and mental well-being. It opened the door for the enemy and allowed all kinds of havoc into my life. Being quick to forgive has brought me freedom and a fulfilled life.
Possibly the most difficult thing that God will ask us to do is to forgive the people who hurt us.
The process of forgiveness is all about obeying God’s command to forgive and let it go. It has nothing to do with feelings and it is a constant choice of giving God the hurt and letting go of the anger.
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. —Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
Accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. —Colossians 3:13 HCSB
I believe that for many of us, hanging on to anger and refusing to forgive those who have hurt us stands in the way of living a fulfilled life. We cannot go forward if we are bitterly hanging on to the past. Letting go involves making a commitment to stop thinking and talking about the things that people have done to us.
In most cases it might require us to do acts of kindness, guard what we think about them and
choose instead to think the best. Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. – Romans 12:21 CEV
To forgive means to let go of the hurt and pain. To let go of the past and seek God and His Word for today. We need to quit holding on to something that we cannot do anything about. Forgiveness is non- negotiable for anyone who want to enjoy the full life and future He has for us.
It is about trusting God to bring us freedom and wholeness. It is about allowing God to move and shift the circumstances to bring about a whole new world of possibilities, because hanging on to unforgiveness mentally and emotionally will keep hurting us day after day.
Help yourself by being quick to forgive and let it go! Experience the freedom that is yours in Christ Jesus. Enjoy the full life and future He has for you.