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Forgiveness Ensures Freedom

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” – Hebrews 12:15

During my military years moving from one assignment to another was the norm. Depending on your job, you could be more susceptible to an assignment based on the needs of the service. As you rose in rank and skill, opportunities would present themselves to better your career and resume. This would gain you breath of experience which would in turn help you with the promotion boards.

Just prior to the first Gulf war, we made such a move. The Air Force was standing up a new squadron that presented the perfect opportunity to broaden my horizons. Unfortunately it did not turn out as I had hoped. The Chief engineer of the new squadron had made promises he could not fulfill because they were not his call. While he could make suggestions to the commander on certain positions, the ultimate decision was solely that of the squadron commander.

I did not get the job I was promised. Not only had I moved my family across the country, my wife left her fulltime military position reducing our income dramatically. The bitterness I felt was incredible and consumed me for months. That situation shaped a part of my life that some would say was positive because I would no longer rely on others to help move my career forward. While that may be true to a small degree, the damage it did to me personally was far reaching and would not be fully realized until my life changed on March 3rd, 2001, the day I gave my life fully to Christ.

In the weeks after my return to the Fathers house the immediate and complete forgiveness I received from Him would allow my family to forgive me and for us to move forward. Was it painful, yes, but I would not trade that time for anything. It strengthen our bonds like nothing else could, it was powerful, it was God.

Through all of this I recognized the amount of bitterness I was carrying from things that happened in life. Not just in the military, but growing up, school, work, you name it, I had a lot of baggage. I was working on my race car one evening in the garage listening to a message when I was compelled to start forgiving people and situations by name. It took hours and hours…I was holding on to so much, it was incredibly freeing. While the weight of my sin had been removed by the Lord’s forgiveness, the bitterness remained until I recognized it and dealt with it by forgiving anyone who had ever done me harm in my life.

Do you harbor bitterness towards someone or a situation? If so, it is time to let go and let God, your life will be forever changed!


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