Forgiveness means freedom. For real. First of all, God forgives us for Christ’s sake. When we receive God’s liberating grace, we are truly free. Nothing quite like it. Suddenly there’s air in your lungs, you can breathe! Everything looks brighter and more beautiful. Life gets the meaning and there’s a new spring in your step. Priceless. But that’s not the end!
We are also called to practice forgiveness. When we have experienced life-giving forgiveness ourselves, we are asked to do likewise to others. But, yes, it is hard. But that’s our command. Jesus himself said, “And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.” (Mark 11:25, CEB)
But how can we do that? How can we forgive when our heart is bleeding? How can we forgive when we don’t even want to forgive?
I hear you. I’ve been there, done that. But by God’s grace, there is a way out of holding grudges. Here’s the process of forgiving in 4 steps:
1) When you don’t want to forgive, ask that God will kindle the desire to forgive in you. (Repeat as often as needed.)
Remind yourself that forgiveness means freedom. For you. Once you have forgiven, you will experience tremendous freedom. Forgiving someone does not make the other person right. Forgiving someone does not grant the other person permission to hurt you again. Forgiveness means choosing God over grudges. Forgiveness is a choice to grow in Christ, to become better, not bitter.
2) When you want to forgive but are not able to forgive, give your inability to forgive to God and ask God to enable you to forgive. (Repeat as often as needed.)
Life is hard but it’s much harder when we carry grudges around. We, humans, are unable to forgive but God’s grace is mighty and powerful!
3) When you are ready to forgive, say it out loud. For example, “I forgive xx for yy in Jesus’ name”. Pray for him or her, give the whole matter to God. (Repeat as often as needed.)
4) When you have forgiven, give all the pieces of your heart to God and ask God to heal it. (Repeat as often as needed.)
This might sound too simple for you. But it works. Dare to try it!
Healing is possible but it starts with forgiveness. When we trust God with our lives, we will never be shortchanged. God’s healing grace will take care of our broken hearts. When we let go of hatred and forgive, God will fill our lives with freedom, peace, and wholeness.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Col.3:12-14, MSG)
We are called to live a life of love. In order to be able to do so, we need to learn to forgive quickly and completely. We need to learn to live and move in grace. Only when we are empowered by the grace of God, we are able to live in forgiveness and truly love like Jesus.
We come to you with our hurting hearts.
You know what’s going on in our lives.
Kindle us the desire to forgive and
enable us to forgive.
Thank you for empowering us to forgive.
We want to forgive now __________.
We leave this matter and this person to you.
We give all the pieces of our broken hearts to you.
Heal us, renew us, restore us.
Fill us with your sustaining grace!
Fill us with freedom, peace, and joy!
Thank you for your powerful grace!
Show us how to live in forgiveness
and how to love like you!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you struggle with forgiveness? How has forgiving changed your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you practice forgiveness and share God’s love!
Giving thanks today for
#821 the gift of forgiveness
#822 the example of Jesus
#802 the enabling power of grace
#824 forgiveness means freedom
#825 healing is possible
#826 healing by grace is better than being bitter
#827 God loves to enable us to forgive
#828 forgiveness enlarges our capacity to love
#829 forgiving blesses us
#830 God’s grace makes us better, not bitter
Image courtesy of Stewart Dowdall. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty & Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday and