The last devotional post I wrote about God’s forgiveness for us. It was a positive post that reminds us of God’s unconditional love and mercy when we place our faith in Him.
This post is a little harder.
Now we’re talking about forgiving others.
When we fail to forgive others it hinders our relationship with God.
God calls us to forgive others. When we don’t, we are disobeying Him. In times of disobedience, discipline may happen. And in times of discipline we are separating ourselves from God because of our behaviors.
At times I have worked with people who have described this discipline. They have stated, “I feel like God is punishing me for a situation I didn’t do.” But friends, they still had resentment in their heart. They were holding a grudge against a person they felt wronged them. And that bitterness was stopping them from being connected with God more fully. The negative emotions were consuming them and turning into an idol.
Forgiving others frees us from our past wounds. When we don’t forgive, we hold on to the pain and either become resentful or start believing the pain that was inflicted. Both of which restrict our ability to lean into God and allow Him to heal us.
Forgiving others doesn’t mean we approve of or condone the behavior or situation that took place. It just means we’re not going to let the situation hold us hostage any longer.
The situation I described above. The person they were so distressed over likely didn’t even remember the situation because it was decades ago.
How often does that happen to you? Someone cuts you off in traffic and you allow that one incident to alter your mood for part of or the whole day? Or the two ladies talking in the aisle at the grocery store with their carts in the way so you couldn’t get by? Do you allow their lack of awareness to get to you?
Now I certainly understand that there are many people reading this who have endured legitimately traumatic events at the hands of someone else. And we are still called to forgive them. Don’t allow that person to control you any longer by holding onto your pain. You are worth so much more than having the pain define you. I know forgiving others is a difficult process to work through, so I urge you to seek help if you need more support.
Please take the time to read the below bible scriptures and truly focus on what they are saying to you. Some passages may touch you differently than others. Writing down the verses in your own hand is helpful for some individuals. Possibly looking up the verses in your own bible may be beneficial. I use a NIV bible translation. Or reading them over and over to commit to memory. Whatever method works best for you to experience God’s words and feel closer to Him.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
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.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
2 Corinthians 2:7-8
Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
I pray that this post and these verses meet you where you are today and help you to release the pain and forgive the person you have been harboring continued hurt towards.
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