Those times when a friend says something about you behind your back (I've done it, middle school for example)... forgiveness is the only thing that brings healing.
When you feel like you've been burned by everyone and everything... forgiveness is what brings healing.
If you feel like you've messed up too many times for God to accept you... forgiveness is the first thing you need in your relationship to bring healing.
Forgiveness is the first step to healing. Forgiving others, forgiving yourself.
Unforgiveness leads to bitterness. I've been down that path in my life, and I don't want to go back. It is a miserable state to be in, and very difficult to pull out of. It took many years for God to draw me closer to himself than to bitterness. But it always seems like I'm one step away from jumping into that darkness again.
Paul reminds the church in Ephesus what living as Children of Light should look like. It is a good reminder for our lives today:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." ~Ephesians 4: 29- 5:2
Recently, as I was steaming about a certain situation, I realized that healing was what I really wanted. I wanted healing for the relationship, and holding on to bitterness or anger will not bring that healing about. Only forgiveness will. And after I had made that declaration, I felt peace flood into my soul, I was no longer shaking from being so angry or upset. God gave me peace and I knew that forgiveness was the only option that I wanted to pursue. I choose freedom and joy and peace over anything that bitterness has to offer.
|freedom. joy. peace.|