You can be free if you will.

I used to think that some things were simply unforgivable, rape and murder among them. It feels completely justified in hating the ex-boyfriend who raped you, the man or woman who lied against you..leading to your sack from that job, that person who conspired against you to make sure you dont get that promotion,  that girl you brought home as a house help but she ended up snatching your husband from you and destroying your home, that man or woman who poisoned you just to have your property, that person who always say mean things about you, that person that can’t stand you at the office and hated for no reason etc. To forgive him or her seemed to mean that what he or she did was OK, and it wasn’t. While Forgiveness is the only way to have hope and confidence restored, the only way to protect your love and reinforce the unity that you have built. It seems so difficult to do because of self judgement.

Why don’t people just forgive? That is a very good question. There is power in using a person’s weakness and failure against him or her. Because of all the other person’s wrongs against us, he or she owes us. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person. In moments when we want our own way, we pull out some wrong against us as our relational trump card. But it is very tempting to ascend to God’s throne and to make ourselves judge. ?” Debt is weaponry. Carrying these wrongs makes us feel deserving and therefore comfortable with being self-focused and demanding. It is the only way to give your relationships the blessing of fresh starts and new beginnings. If forgiveness is easier and more beneficial, why isn’t it more popular? The sad reality is that there is short-term, relationally destructive power in refusing to forgive. Yet, we have all been seduced by the power of unforgiveness. That hidden source of offense will cause these evil forces to resurface in a person’s life over and over again. This way of living turns the people in our lives into our adversaries and turns the locations where we live into a war zone.

What I have since discovered is that forgiveness isn’t endorsement and it certainly isn’t accompanied by warm, fuzzy feelings. Forgiveness is a choice we make.Forgiveness is the only way to live in an intimate, long-term relationship with the person who hurts you. Unforgiveness can plant a “root of bitterness” in us that leads to various damaging results (e.g. ruins the fruit of the Holy Spirit, stunts spiritual growth, contributes to physical illness)

Unforgiveness Debt is power. We keep a record of wrongs because we are not motivated by what honours God and is best for others but by what is expedient for ourselves. We have all used the power of guilt to get what we want when we want it and in so doing have not only done serious damaged our relationships, but have demonstrated how much we need forgiveness. We reap what we sow. We are so focused on the failures of others that we are blinded to ourselves. It is not our job to make sure they feel the appropriate amount of guilt for what they have done. When someone has hurt us in some way, it is very tempting to hurt them back by throwing in their face just how evil and immature they are.

I have heard it said that forgiveness is setting someone free, and realizing the prisoner was you. At first I forgave out of obedience; but when I finally forgave, I realized that I was the one being held captive by my unforgiveness. It is truly about you…. yes you. While we carry the hurt, the bitterness, the anger and the pain of what was done to us around, the people that have hurt us go on living their lives, often unaware. Holding onto another’s error, weakness, and failure makes us feel superior to them. There is power in having something to hold over another’s head. Like acid can destroy the vessel that holds it, so can unforgiveness destroy us when we harbor it.

God himself models what He asks of us. He asks us to forgive others, just as He generously extends His forgiveness to us.Jesus paid with his very life. He knows the cost. But, He also knows the freedom it brings. . Forgiveness is the only way to deal with hurt and disappointment. We forget how often we fail, how much sin mars everything we do, and how desperately we need the Grace that we are daily given but unwilling to offer to others. So, isn’t it wonderful to know that you have not only been called to forgive, but you have also been Graced with everything you need to answer this call? The sins and failures that another has done against us become like a loaded gun that we carry around. We are not the one who should dispense consequences for other’s sin. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. We have all acted as judges. Forgiveness is the only way not to be kidnapped by the past. “After all I have had to endure in relationship with you, don’t I deserve? . It’s also scarily blind. Holding onto the other’s wrongs gives us the upper hand in our relationship. We fall into the pattern of getting our sense of self not by the comfort and call of the gospel but by comparing ourselves to another.

Unforgiveness holds you prisoner. The way for you to get free is to set others free. With rage and bitterness absent from your heart, there is room for more precious things like joy, hope and gratitude. Going before God and releasing the people who have done wrong to us by forgiving them isn’t always easy, but it is good…..

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