Forgiving (others/self) is tough as nails. We get so easily bound up by the hurt this sinful world dishes out. So what is God’s answer to our pain and bitterness? Forgive! How much, how often, how thoroughly? As much as needed, as often as needed, as thoroughly as needed—to fully release your heart. The truth is a childlike heart of joy is waiting for all of us on the other side of fully forgiving the very ones who the enemy used to rob us of our joy. God really wants to turn the tables on the enemy, but He needs us to work with Him, not against Him.
Un-forgiveness in all of its forms is an agreement with Satan, not God. It not only hardens our hearts (separating us from peace and joy), but it also damages our bodies (through the stress response). These strongholds have to be torn down if we ever want to live a grace-filled life and become champion grace givers like our glorious Lord! You, too, can find freedom through forgiving.
This world is a dangerous place. Every one of us knows what it is like to be hurt by someone else. Some things are easier to recover from than others. Many things we can readily excuse. But, when we can’t just let it go, when the damage was too great, when the wound seems incurable, what can we do to set our spirit free? Our God has one outstanding answer: Forgive! It is the path He chose for Himself when humanity’s incessant sins against Him were wrecking His own Great Heart..
What do church-going Christians want? Only a novice at seminary dreams of parishioners calling him or her to expound on books of the Bible, or to interpret the deeper doctrines of the faith. What people actually want to know is what to do about the pain they get from other people, especially people they care about. In a word: offense! In three words: hurt and offense! I certainly know what they are talking about: I get my share of it too. How can you live without…
Is this you? (It was me.) I meet many Christians who believe that God forgives them, but who really can’t forgive themselves. We padlock our own hearts with unrelieved blame and regret. It doesn’t have to be this way! In my experience we find it hardest to forgive ourselves over two kinds of sins: a) if we have deeply hurt someone we truly loved, or b) if we have wrecked our own life path with no visible means of remedy.…