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The Importance of Forgiving
Letting Go of the Past
In order to have freedom in Christ one must learn how to forgive. Forgiving is not forgetting or excusing the offender’s behavior. It’s letting go so that you can have peace and healing. Only God can provide that type of healing. God knows that we are human and have many flaws and that’s why it’s so important to come to God and seek help in forgiving others.
Forgive so you can be Forgiven
When we choose not to forgive we separate ourselves from God. Unforgiveness in the heart of a believer causes that believer to lose forgiveness from God (Matthew 6:14). This means that when we don’t forgive, our own sins begin to pile up as God ignores our prayers for forgiveness. I don’t know about you, but when I have unconfessed or unforgiven sins I feel dirty, ashamed and lost. I find myself doing everything possible to get back on track with God and that includes forgiving others.
Unforgiveness Robs Your Life
Unforgiveness plants a bitter root in the heart. I know a woman who has spent her whole life looking at all the injustices done to her. She failed to forgive three key people in her life for all the injustices that she felt they caused her, and because of this, she has been walking in the bondage of her past. Instead of allowing God to heal her by forgiving and letting go, she held on to her pain and chose a life of self pity. Despite the fact that God blessed her with children and grandchildren she couldn’t see her blessings because she was still looking behind her. Don’t let unforgiveness rob your life!
Turn to God for Help
Only God and God alone can help us to forgive. I know there are some offenses that have been made against us that hurt so bad that it’s hard to let go. I look at that type of pain as a wound. When we have a wound in order to help it heal we tend to clean it up and cover it with a bandage. We don’t expect the wound to heal or the scar to fade overnight. We know it takes time. We also know it’s important not to pick at the wound or else it will make it worse and take longer to heal. The same can be said about forgiving. You see when we come to God and ask for help in forgiving others a healing process begins to take place. As we choose to forgive, God in turn begins to “clean” up our wound. Some times that cleaning process may hurt (there may be sin in our life God uncovers that need to be addressed) but it’s necessary if we are to experience complete healing. As we choose to hand over our pain (wound) to God, He covers our wound and as each day passes we begin to heal. We may be left with a scar (a dim reminder) but over time that will fade away as well. If we decide one day to go back and dwell on the offense or to once again harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, the healing process has to start all over again. It’s the same as ripping the scab off of a cut. This prolongs healing from taking place and it’s also more painful the next time around.
This is not something I’m unfamiliar with. God revealed this to me recently as I’ve been struggling with letting go and allowing God to heal me from hurt caused by someone in my past. I see now that it’s not worth it to hold on to hurt and pain. I truly hope that this posting will help others find peace in God as I am learning to keep that peace as well. Here is a sample prayer that I have used in the past to help me to heal. Please feel free to use it and send me a message if you would like me to pray for you or be of any assistance. Stay Blessed!
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for waking me up this morning and blessing me with my life. I come before you Lord seeking your grace and mercy. I choose to forgive (name the offender) for (name all the offenses). Please forgive me for harboring unforgiveness in my heart towards (the offender) and for my part in the matter (name them if any). Father I place (name the offender) into your hands as well as all the hurt and pain associated with him/her. I leave it all in your hands and ask you to heal me from all the hurt and pain that has been left in my life. Help me to leave (the offender) in your hands and open up their eyes to see their offenses and create in them a pure heart to want to change. I thank you for forgiving me and ask you to teach me to show the same type of mercy to others. In Jesus Holy name I pray, Amen.