Forgiveness to Freedom

Matthew 6:14-15   For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.   And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3: 13   bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.

Luke 6:37   Forgive and you shall be forgiven

“Getting even with someone means putting yourself on their level.” Marquee Messages, Shirley Jones Garmon, 2000

It used to be forgiveness could be difficult for me sometimes. My mother was an open and tolerant person, and she taught that I never had a clue what someone else was going through, whether illness, hurt marriage, dysfunctional family, and who knew, but because of that I should not have an attitude that a person intentionally hurt me. I had to give them latitude. It helped hearing that and recognizing that she might be right. Fortunately, I have carried that view most of the way through life.

I also learned while in nursing school, that it is thought many illnesses can develop because of a held on hurt or anger. Much of heart disease, high blood pressure, and many others are worsened with people holding grudges. If one holds a grudge and does not forgive, the hurt is to the person who holds it.

God wants us to forgive as He forgave us a myriad of sins, and continues to as we go about life, and commit sin. We do, it’s part of being human. When the Holy Spirit brings a sin to mind, it is time to recognize it, confess it, and ask for forgiveness. Now you have an awareness of an area of sinfulness, so hopefully you can correct the behavior before the actual sin occurs. But we ALL sin, and God forgives ALL if they are truly repentant.

We certainly, as humans will NEVER be on a par with God, so how can we feel entitled to hold onto a grudge? And again, holding tightly to that hurts you. So forgiving frees you, lightens your burden, and is very pleasing to God.

It does not always feel good to forgive right away, and you may wonder if you have just said the words, since you may still have some hurt, anger, or whatever. But it is the committed act of forgiving and the feeling of freedom and forgiveness will come, and after a bit of time, you will realize you feel free from that bitterness, anger, etc.

It does work. Take the steps and the weight of anger and bitterness will lift, and then you have freedom to not be angry and resentful, and possibly cause yourself some grave illness.

You have been forgiven throughout your life, by maybe parents, siblings, and friends. You know how you felt being forgiven. Others feel the same. But to me, it is so freeing, and to know God can forgive ALL my sins….I’m all in to forgive others.

So I am thankful God gave me an example like my mother, and the knowledge to recognize how freeing it is to forgive for me. It’s part of the reason for the positive thoughts of “mybellaviews.”