Forgiveness is a one of the highest of all human virtues, and the power of forgiveness is proclaimed throughout the Bible. This one act will transform nearly every relationship when put into practice. Including your relationship with God. The fact is, when we refuse to forgive those who have wronged us, we are building a barrier between ourselves and God.
Free Your Heart
The resentment you hold on to when you fail to forgive others festers in your heart and damages your relationship with God. When you withhold forgiveness from others, you are effectively putting a barrier up that keeps you from experiencing God’s ongoing forgiveness.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
(Matthew 6:14-15 NIV)
Forgive Your Enemies
Christian values teach from Scripture to trust God and walk in love. This is the essence of Christian living and a measure of maturity in Christ. Think about it. It’s easy to forgive people you like and who love and encourage and support you. However, what do you do with the people who constantly attack you, anger you, and hurt you? Jesus’ answer is clear: love your enemies. Do good to those who persecute you. Always overcome evil with good.
Forgiving enemies is difficult, but forgiving yourself is harder. Feelings of shame and guilt can persist for years making you feel unworthy to walk with God. You can’t change the past, but it’s not a place you need to linger! Doing so will only hinder your walk in the Lord. Instead, take your guilt and shame to God. Do not give them power over you. Repentance is all that God asks of you. Once it’s offered, let God help you let the sin go and forgive yourself.
The Healing Power of Forgiveness
Bitterness is a thorny weed that wraps itself around your heart and chokes out all the life, love, and joy. You simply can’t pursue God or others. Forgiveness, however, releases you from all bitterness and contempt. It frees your heart to love God and to love those around you. It may seem odd to describe forgiveness as a pleasurable experience, but freedom feels good! Free your heart from all hatred, bitterness, and contempt. You may have someone in mind you need to forgive as you read this. Don’t wait!
Through God’s Eyes
True forgiveness allows you to see others through God’s eyes. Their flaws, their suffering, and their inherent worth. It opens your heart to love them as God loves you. The secret to the power of forgiveness is that the more you forgive, the more like God you’ll become. What’s holding you back?
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