The hurts we suffer can imprison and paralyze us. The hurt caused by another person’s actions fills us with rage, depression, annoyance, or frustration. We replay the hurt over and over in our minds. Offering forgiveness
when we’ve been hurt is very difficult to do. Yet, Jesus taught that forgiving others is vital for our spiritual well-being. He invites us to make it a priority not only to forgive but to keep forgiving…all the time if need be.
Why forgive? Here are some good reasons:
• God commands us to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice to obey. To withhold forgiveness is also a choice—to disobey.
• When we don’t forgive someone, it only hurts us more. In hanging on to the wrong done to us, our sorrow and hurt turns to resentment and bitterness, and these always hurt us more than the other person.
• If we don’t forgive someone, the offense keeps coming back to haunt us again and again.
I encourage you to forgive, and keep on forgiving. It’s the only way forward. It’s the only path to freedom.
Each time you forgive, you release a prisoner—and then find out the prisoner was actually you. You were in bondage to anger, resentment, and bitterness.
Forgiveness is the action of cooperation with the Holy Spirit that sets you free.
1. What are some practical steps you could take to make forgiveness a regular part of your life?
2. Do you have someone in your life you can’t imagine loving? Start by praying for them today.
Matthew 18:21-35; Job 5:2;
Adapted from Fresh Start by Doug Fields.