Forgiveness: “The Key To Freedom”

There is awesome healing power when we forgive. Forgiveness is God’s solution for bitterness, resentment, hostility and sin. You and I need the freedom found only through sincerely and completely forgiving others.

 

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Look, we all know people are rude, irrational, unreasonable, and self-centered… but God commands that we love them anyway. When you do something good for someone else, they will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives… God commands that we do good anyway.

Matthew 5 says “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

In other words FORGIVE and do not let the world take away the good that God has placed in your heart. Someone once told me that to be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. I know this is easier said than done.

 

Do you remember Michelle Knight? She is one of the three women held captive in a Cleveland house before escaping last year said she forgives the man who kidnapped and tortured her for nearly a decade.

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Michelle Knight, interviewed Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, said something amazing… “Ariel Castro deserves forgiveness because she’d want to be forgiven if she did wrong”, and “that’s the way of life.”

She added, “he is a human being and every human being needs to be loved,” even if he did wrong.

 

“Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors”

I was reciting the “Our Father” prayer and I came to the part that says: “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors,” we are asking God to forgive us our sins according to the same standard we have used in forgiving the sins of others.  There are 11 words in the text, but only one of them is important for our purposes. It’s the little word “as.” Everything hangs on the meaning of that word. “As” is the conjunction that joins the first half of the petition with the second half. When Jesus says “as,” he is setting up a comparison between the way we forgive and the way God forgives us. This text says that we set the standard and then God follows the standard. We establish the pattern and then God follows that pattern in the way he deals with us. When you pray this prayer you are really saying, “O God, deal with me as I deal with other people. Deal with me as I have dealt with others.” We are virtually saying, “O God, I’ve got a neighbor and I did some favors for my neighbor and my neighbor is ungrateful to me for all I have done. I am angry at my neighbor and I will not forgive him for his ingratitude. Now deal with me as I have dealt with my neighbor.”It’s as if we’re praying, “O God, that man hurt me. I am so angry I can’t wait to get even. Deal with me as I have dealt with him.” We set the standard and God follows our lead. 

This really convicted my heart and I had to ask myself these questions

Am I up to date on my forgiving? 
Am I holding a grudge against anyone? 
Am I holding on to any bitterness against any person?
Have I forgiven those who have hurt me deeply?

I must remember that ultimately I am responsible for my actions. One day I will meet my maker and I will stand alone with my sins to show for. I want to live a life that is fulfilling and pleasing to God. I must remember that I have sinned gravely against my Creator and was given undeserved Grace through the precious blood of Jesus who came to pay a debt HE did not owe because we had a debt we could not pay.

In this same manner I should love and forgive all other people.

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