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The Key To Freedom Is Forgiveness
There are some things in life that are more important than others. Some things that have the power to greatly affect our lives and our well-being. It is these things that need to receive our focus and attention. When it comes to issues of the heart, such matters need to be addressed and taken more seriously. It is for this reason that forgiveness plays such an important and vital role in our lives. The effects of Unforgiveness are too great just to allow the matter to be left unattended. As we learn to forgive, we will discover that it is one of the greatest keys to enjoying freedom in our lives.
Why is forgiveness so vital?
BECAUSE UNFORGIVENSS CAN DAMAGE OUR HEALTH
When we do not deal with issues that arise in our lives and get to point of forgiveness it eats at us and this can cause a host of health problems. Inevitable when we do not forgive we become bitter. Bitterness makes us hard and un-yielding and in many cases insensitive. As a result we become a source of hurt and pain to others. The victims of our bitterness are often not the ones who actually hurt us! This bitterness has way of tapping the very life from us and making us weak.
UNFORGIVENESS MEANS THAT GOD WILL NOT FORGIVE US
This is perhaps the most devastating result of Unforgiveness. We all want forgiveness for ourselves. The issue is that when we are not willing to extend forgiveness to others, GOD will not extend forgiveness to us! I can think of nothing worse.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The Amplified Bible Translation makes it even clearer: ‘But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.’
UNFORGIVENESS WE CAN END UP TORMENTED
There is a story that Jesus told about a man who owed a large amount of money to the King. One day the King called him in a demanded that He pay back the money he owed. He begged the King for forgiveness because he could not repay the debt. The King extended mercy and granted his request and released him of the amount he owed. On his way out this man saw another man who owed him some money and demanded that the man pay. The man plead for mercy, but he refused and had the man throw in jail. When the king heard what had happened he was angry and had the man handed over to the tormentors until his original debt was paid. Matthew 18:23-35
The crucial verse is verse 34: ‘Then the angry king sent the man to the torture chamber until he had paid every last penny due.’
Unforgiveness lands us in the torture chamber. The older Bible versions use the word tormentors. Unforgiveness leaves us tormented!
BECAUSE FORGIVENESS RELEASES US FROM OFFENCE, AND OFFENCES STOPS US FROM RECEIVING BLESSING
God wants each of us to be blessed and to know His blessing on our lives. I know that each of us long for, and desire God’s blessing on our lives. While we hold on to Unforgiveness we are offended and this offense is the thing that stands in the way of God’s blessing in and on our lives.
Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.
Don’t let Unforgiveness and offense rob you of any of the blessing that God may have planned for you!
SOWING AN REAPING
The principle of sowing and reaping also affects our lives. What we sow we will reap. We all want to receive forgiveness when we have made a mistake or have done something wrong. If you want to reap forgiveness you need to sow forgiveness. If we sow mercy we will reap mercy. If we demand judgment (which we are entitled to do when we have been wronged) then we are entitled to reap judgment when we have wronged others.
BECAUSE IT IS WHAT GOD EXPECTS OF US
Again and again in the Bible we see that God expects us to be forgiving people. If God expects us to forgive, why would we feel it is better to hold on to our offence and Unforgiveness? Jesus set the greatest example. As He was hanging on the cross fro a crime He had never committed, He spoke out forgiveness when He said: ‘Father forgive them for they know what the do’. Here are some scriptures that remind us that God expects us to forgive others.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you.
Colossians 3:13 Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Forgiveness is a gift
Forgiveness is something very special. Forgiveness is a gift. Forgiveness is a gift that you can give to someone else. It is also a gift that you can withhold. Most times forgiveness is an underserved gift that you and I can give to those who have wronged us. Giving this gift brings freedom, while withholding this gift brings bondage. It is a voluntary choice to give this gift!
Forgiveness is the key to freedom
Unforgiveness holds onto the right to be offended. Giving the gift of forgiveness brings freedom. We all want this freedom in our lives. The problem is that life gives us reason to be offended and wronged. It is an inevitable part of life. For this reason we need to learn to forgive so that we can remain free. You may ask how is this possible. I believe that it starts on the inside as we get to the point where we are willing to extend forgiveness to others. Prayer plays a vital role. Sometimes it is not possible to forgive people to their faces but we can do it as we pray. God knows!
Forgiveness includes releasing others and brings freedom to them. In a very real sense we need to have an attitude of forgiveness and walk in forgiveness. Just because we have extended forgiveness does not mean the situation will always just go away. It is for this reason that you and I need to walk in forgiveness to others. You and I deserve the freedom that forgiveness can bring.