The topic of forgiveness has been on my heart . . .
Have you forgiven?
What he did. What she said. What he didn’t say. When she didn’t stand up for you. When he left. When she betrayed you. And it hurt. It cut so deep, leaving a gaping hole, a wound that feels like it will never heal. The thing that seems like it will help you heal is hatred, revenge, never forgetting, and certainly not forgiving.
I promise you, that is not the way to freedom. That is not the way to heal.
Unforgiveness screams, “he owes me, and he’d better pay up!” The problem is that no person can repay you that debt. Ever. Even if he really wanted to undo what was done, or she truly regretted those words, that person can never give back what was lost. That person cannot fill that hole. Refusing to forgive means you are holding on to the debts that person owes you. Something was stolen from you, but they cannot give it back.
When you make the choice to forgive you are releasing the debt owed to you. It doesn’t seem fair to release the debt, “What!? Let the guilty go free?” The debt could never be paid back in the first place. The only one being held captive by unforgiveness is you.
When you release the debt owed to you, you choose to forgive what was done to you, stolen from you, said about you. God can then release the debt you owe to him. You step out of loan-shark mentality, and into grace.
The profound truth about forgiveness is this: Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all. What was done to you was done to Christ, he became that sin, he took that sin, and he forgave it, just as he forgave you for all of your sins. Refusing to forgive declares that what Jesus offers for the debt of sin is not enough, and you want nothing to do with what he offers in exchange for the sins against you, as well as your sins against God. You will pay your own debts, and you expect others to do the same. Yet no one can pay this kind of debt.
Only God can restore what was taken from you. Not only does God restore, but His Word, His life, His love actually creates such an abundance that you end up with more than you started with. And certainly more than anything a person could have given you, even if they gave you everything they had.
Why do you need to forgive? Because it is you that is bondage when you don’t. Because God cannot release the debts of one who chooses to stand as judge against the debts of others.
I preached at my church on this topic almost a year ago – and feel like someone needs to hear this message today! Grab your headphones, a box of tissues, and take a listen! [yeah, I cried… it’s what I do…]
Much Love, Annie