Forgiveness is one of the most important issues we face.
When we hold unforgiveness in our heart, whether knowingly or unknowingly, it eventually produces a spirit of bitterness in us. When this spirit is active in our life, it prevents us from experiencing the blessing of God. That’s because our view of the Scripture and of others is clouded. And when a spirit of bitterness is active in our life, the last thing we feel like doing is asking God to show us any areas of unforgiveness in our heart.
But how we feel is not the issue. Jesus said we are to forgive others. We learn that when we cry out to God and ask Him for a work of grace in our hearts, He is faithful to give us a supernatural love for the one who has offended us. As we begin to pray for that person, I trust Him to bring about reconciliation in the situation.
People say that time heals–but it doesn’t. In truth, the people we need to forgive probably have an issue with us as well. There are times when we simply need to ask God to bring our paths together so that He can settle the issue.
There are situations in which reconciliation is not in a person’s best interest. In cases where there has been physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, reentering a relationship with an abuser would be both foolish and dangerous. And yet we are to forgive.
One of the meanings of the word translated as forgive in the New Testament is “to send.” When we choose to forgive someone, who has done unspeakable things to us, we are actually sending away the ability of that which was perpetrated against us. In effect, we stop the abuse from causing us further emotional harm.
It has been said that when we choose not to forgive, it’s like taking a poison pill and waiting for someone else to die. Forgiveness is not about others; rather, it is a powerful tool God has given us to ensure that we walk in the fullness of His blessings as we worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
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