How Forgiveness Helps You Heal

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”       Matthew 18:21-22
Have you ever been wronged by someone, by more than one someone? If you’re over the age of two, I’m certain your answer is yes. It’s simply part of being human. We’re selfish creatures who hurt each other, sometimes by accident sometimes by intent. When we’re the ones wounded we’re faced with two choices, we can forgive or we can hold on to the offense. At times the transgression is minor and easy to forgive but at others we become stuck in the mire of unforgiveness.

We may believe that by refusing to forgive we’re punishing the offender, but the truth is we don’t hurt them we hurt ourselves. "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die". It spreads bitterness through the soul while infection festers in the original wound. Until it is cleansed through forgiveness, the wound can’t heal.

We may resist granting forgiveness because we don’t fully understand what exactly it is.

Forgiveness doesn’t:

• deny what happened to you
• make what happened acceptable
• grant permission for it to happen again
• take away the consequences they will face for their sin
• make you weak
• require their repentance
• hold on to the desire to hurt them

Forgiveness is:

• a difficult and uncomfortable process
• different than trust which must be earned
• freeing yourself from the offender’s power in your life
• about how much you trust God to take care of you
• empathy for the offender, humility about your own sins and gratitude to God for your forgiveness

The cleansing power of forgiveness washes the wound and brings healing; it frees us to move on with life. Through it our relationship with the Father is opened for it keeps us in obedience to His word. If you're struggling to forgive someone, turn to the One who has forgiven all of our sins and He will give you aid.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Col 3:13

Message for the Journey:

“As you extend forgiveness, you are not saying that the one who hurt you was right, but rather that God is just and that what He will do is right.” –J. Velez The Road to Forgiveness


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