Why is it that forgiveness is so powerful? So necessary?
Some say that forgiveness is letting go of the past. That may seem impossible if your past is painful. Some things are simply hard to forgive, and we can’t just pretend that things didn’t happen. Perhaps, however, we sometimes hold on to bitterness out of fear of letting it go.
How do we move forward?
In Jesus, God offers all of us a radical way to freedom. He provides the way to move forward.
Jesus speaks to forgiveness in the gospel of Matthew. When Jesus taught us to pray, He included, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12
Jesus bought our freedom with His death and resurrection. God can, wants to, and will forgive us of our sins. He is not surprised when we mess up, and He offers hope and forgiveness when we go to Him. Jesus loves us and longs for us to return to Him and His ways. Don’t allow the guilt of past sin sideline you. Be willing and open to making restitution when necessary to make things right with someone you have wronged.
Freedom also comes when we extend forgiveness to those who hurt us.
We don’t need to be constrained by guilt, fear and bitterness; we can love others enough to care about their freedom. It’s not easy, but it is revolutionary. Relationships require hard work, but the more we practice forgiveness, the more we understand freedom.
By accepting forgiveness, and forgiving those who have hurt us, WE CAN BE FREE to live… and to love.