Forgiveness Will Set you Free by J.T. Parish
Forgiveness Will Set you Free
Unforgiveness makes us miserable, hinders our prayers, blocks our own forgiveness, leads to a root of bitterness that defiles many, especially those closest to us. Forgiveness frees us from bondage, frees others, enhances our prayer life, and results in peace and joy that goes beyond description. Why do we find it so hard to forgive?
Pride is the main problem. Usually we are blind to the fact that it is our pride that keeps us from either asking for forgiveness or giving forgiveness to others. Excuses are often given for holding unforgiveness. "But they did do me wrong and if I forgave I would be condoning their wrong." No, your forgiveness is not an approval of their wrong. Your forgiveness keeps them from continuing to hurt you. Your unforgiveness is doing you much more damage than it is to the person you won't forgive.
Unforgiveness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. "If I forgive they get away with their wrong doing." Nobody gets away with anything! "Vengeance is mine. I will repay says the Lord." Judging wrong doing is the Lord's job, not ours.
How do I forgive when I don't feel like it? Don't go by your feelings. Choose to forgive. But what if I forgive and they do it again? Forgive them again! How will I know when I have really forgiven from the heart? When you forgive and are able to sincerely pray for their good and God's blessings upon them - you have forgiven from the heart.
When you forgive everyone of everything they ever did, said, or thought against you - then you are free! You are a person who forgives and extends mercy because you recognize you are forgiven yourself. Jesus was rejected, falsely accused, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. His first words while suffering on the cross were: "Father, forgive them..."
Do you want to be free and at peace? Follow Jesus' example. Just do it!