Imagine holding one of these water jugs for every resentment you hold, grudge you cling to and strong judgment you cast. How much weight would you be carrying? What stops you from putting this down?
Forgiveness is a form of letting go. Many view forgiveness as a form of giving in, condoning or weakness; as though forgiving others will lead to further disrespect or abuse. By not forgiving, we are actually harming ourselves more than the original hurt. We think that the person we need to forgive will hurt more if we don’t forgive. When we forgive others, we release the pain along with the judgment and then we are free. The one who has harmed us has to continue to carry that within their consciousness. So why would we choose to carry this too?
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the boundaries you have already set up with that person is non-existent, it just means it teaches us to expand our own inner knowledge and trust. Every experience that I’ve had is an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop compassion. Without forgiveness, I would become hardened and bitter, and eventually shut down from life. Which is something I have regularly done before.
Not forgiving others weighs us down and blocks us from loving ourselves and others. Who are you still hurt by, angry with or carrying resentment towards? How does this affect you mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually? What is the payoff for withholding forgiveness? What is the cost? What would you have to let go of or embrace in order to forgive others?
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32, NKJV
Forgiven people forgive, because they are eternally grateful for the grace of God’s forgiveness in their heart. They are aware that outside of Christ, they are doomed to a cycle of unforgiveness—lost in their sins. The Lord raised them up forgiven, so they in turn can forgive. Forgiveness on earth flows from forgiveness in heaven. It is something to be passed on today, not to be stored away for some unique future occasion.
Hebrews 12:1 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us
Matthew 6:14 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
Matthew 18:21-22 21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
If there are people in your life that you need to forgive, take the steps needed to forgive them.
These steps are taken from LifeChurch.tv Talk It Over series on “Getting Past Your Past”. http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch/getting-past-your-past/2
God loves me no matter what. I am walking, living, breathing proof of that. When I was in the pit of depression and anxiety and fear…He was still there waiting for me. The act of forgiving is for me. Not the other person. It has set me free. I no longer feel like I have that ton of weight on my shoulders. I am finally free. You can do that too.
•Thank God for the power of His forgiveness in your life. Tell Him how it has changed you. •Pray for those you need to forgive. Ask God to help you as you begin the process of forgiveness. •Ask God to help you remove the stains on your heart that have been created by your bitterness. •Tell God the things that are holding you back from forgiving others. Ask Him to help you remove these things. •Confess your sins and ask God for His forgiveness in cleansing you of your sins.