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Do you hold onto unforgiveness like a life raft?
A lot of us do.
When we don’t forgive, shame, grief and bitterness wound us. With our forgiveness pointed outward, we actually free our hearts from pain. It doesn’t always make sense, but that’s how things are in God’s Kingdom.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (NIV)
So, we wage the war—armed with forgiveness—as we battle for freedom. And the prize? A beautiful redemption. Your heart is redeemed—and you might even see relationships restored.
Forgiveness is hard. CS Lewis says, “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have to forgive.”
It’s so true. It’s something none of us are strong enough to do on our own. In fact, the only way we can truly forgive is through the grace and power of Jesus. He gives us the perfect example. He forgave each one of us and wiped our sins away even before we could ask. There was no pre-forgiveness apology. No groveling. No humiliation. And that’s key.
When we truly understand that amazing sacrifice made for us, we are much more willing to forgive. In her book, Lysa says, “At first we say it’s too soon. And then years go by, and we say it’s too late.”
It’s so true, right? The best time to forgive is right now. Say it every morning, “Today is a great day to forgive!” You can do it! Because Jesus did it for you!
When you forgive, you may not feel better. That happens. Forgive anyway. It’s about living for Jesus, not just feeling better. I love what Lysa says here: “Feeling angry is different than living angry. Feeling offended is different than living offended. Feeling skeptical is different than living skeptical. Feeling wronged is different than living wronged. Feeling resentment is different than living resentful.”
So how do you get your feelings in line with the freedom God has promised? Pray. Ask God to change the way you feel. It’s not immediate. But it is possible, thanks to forgiveness.
Sunday Afternoon Host, STAR 99.1
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