Living Free of Unforgiveness
The best way to become forgiving is to pray for the person you need to forgive.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Who do you need to forgive?
Who are you blaming for frustrations and failures in your life?
In yesterday devotional, I mentioned how thankful I am that I am forgiven by the blood of the Lamb. Hidden unforgiveness can be very subtle, much like a cancer destroying your body from the inside out, not being discovered until a cure is unlikely. Unforgiveness produces stress, which in turn leads to a multitude of health and relationship problems. Criticizing, condemning, and complaining are symptoms of unforgiveness.
Here are some excerpts from Chapter 26 of Stormie Omartian’s book “The Power of a Praying Parent:”
Forgiveness is a choice you make… If you don’t forgive, it brings death into your life in one form or another. The best way to become forgiving is to pray for the person you need to forgive. Even though it may seem hard at first, once you get into it and find more and more things to pray about, you’ll notice your heart becoming soft toward that person.
As a part of honoring father and mother and receiving the promise of long life and blessing that accompanies that commandment, every child needs to forgive both parents for their imperfections and anything they may have done that was hurtful.
One of the best things we can do to help our children stay free of unforgiveness, besides teaching them to be forgiving and praying that they walk in forgiveness, is to get free of unforgiveness ourselves. Unforgiveness can so easily become a part of our lives that we take it along with us wherever we go without even realizing we are carrying this excess baggage.
When I finally learned that forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free, I found great breakthrough in that area. I always felt that forgiving someone meant I was saying, “What you did is okay.” But that’s not the case at all. Forgiveness is trusting that God is the God of justice He says He is and saying, “Father, I won’t hold that person to myself with unforgiveness anymore.” It’s acknowledging that God knows the truth and allowing Him to be the judge, because He is the only one who knows the whole story.
The Bible says, “The Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18). We will be blessed if we confess our unforgiveness to Him, pray to be delivered from it, and then sit back and wait for God to do the right thing while we enjoy His blessings. Doesn’t that sound a lot more enjoyable than living in the prison of unforgiveness and suffering the disease it brings into our souls, bodies, relationships, and lives?
How does the son forgive the father who beat him? How does the mother forgive the drunk driver who killed her daughter? How does the young girl forgive the uncle who molested her? How can anyone show mercy for someone who was merciless? They can’t fully, unless they come into the presence of the Lord and understand His complete forgiveness. There is nothing like the tears of joy and release we feel when we come to that place of complete forgiveness before the Lord. It’s life-giving because it renews our entire being.
Lord, I pray that You would enable those who read this message to live in ongoing forgiveness. Teach them the depth of Your forgiveness toward them so they can be freely forgiving toward others. Help them to make the decision to forgive based on what You’ve asked us to do and not on what feels good at the moment. May they understand that forgiveness doesn’t justify the other person’s actions; instead, it set them free. Help them to understand that only You know the whole story about any of us, and that’s why we don’t have the right to judge.
Lord, Your Word says, “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:10-11). Show my readers places where they walk in the darkness of unforgiveness. May they see clearly and know where they are going. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
Link of the Day
The Power of Forgiveness – by Learning Peace [http://www.learningpeace.com/pages/LP_10.htm]
Blessings to live free of unforgiveness!
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