Forgiveness Ensures Freedom
“Can you choose to forgive her”, where my words to a man I was counseling as I spoke with him about his relationship with his wife. He was mad and hurt and wanted restitution, restoration and for her to suffer as much as he had during their separation.
There is a spirit of bitterness we like to harbor in life. It seems completely ridiculous that a person would want to be miserable, yet so many folks choose to be that way. I use to be really bad about holding a grudge against people. I never did anything to impact them, other than be mad and have ugly thoughts about them. It only impacted me and those around me. Now just how dumb does all of that sound…very!
When the Lord forgave me for my sins, I realized I had no right to hold anything against anyone ever again. It would take some time, and a few more tests, before I would understand how internalizing all of that anger and hatred hurt me spiritually. Once I understood how the enemy was using anger to negatively impact my life, I started to work hard to move beyond all the pain of past life experiences. While working on my trace car, I literally spent hours trying to remember every person in my life I held angst against and verbally forgave them. It was life changing.
As my days ahead become shorter than those I’ve already had on this planet, I strive to move beyond any situation that causes myself or those around me pain. While I still struggle at times, I am a better husband, father, minster and businessman because I choose to forgive.
Forgiveness Ensures Freedom
by Os Hillman
“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
In business and life the opportunity to harbor bitterness for a wrong suffered is great. We are given plenty of opportunities to grow bitter from relationships that bring hurt and pain. The writer of the Hebrews passage above admonishes us not to miss the grace of God so that we won’t take up bitterness as a response to life’s pain. He cautions us against this because he knows that a bitter root grows and grows until it eventually defiles many others through a wake of bitterness. If bitterness is allowed to take root, we become imprisoned to it. God’s grace will no longer have as great an effect in our lives. We become ineffective, insensitive, and spiritually dead. We can even become physically ill from it. God does not live in bitterness. He lives in grace. He has provided grace for every person to walk in.
One day I was challenged to deal with an individual who hurt me terribly. I was faced with a decision. Would I choose bitterness, or would I choose grace? Oh, how my natural tendency was to choose bitterness. But God provided the courage to choose grace. With that grace came freedom – a freedom to love and even accept the person who was the source of such pain.
This is the real place where Christ’s power is most revealed. We cannot live without His supernatural grace. Are you in need of grace today? It is there for the receiving. It will take courage to accept it and walk in it. This will be your step to freedom