Forgiveness is a command given by God. Since Jesus forgave us, and died for our sins, we must forgive others. Though it’s true that forgiveness allows our offender to be released from guilt, sadness, and pain; forgiveness is necessary for us to be free from the roots of bitterness. If the roots of bitterness are not pulled up from the ground, the roots will grow deep and thick underground.
Like a stubborn old tree stump, we will remain, yet we will no longer bear fruit. Instead, the ugly ol’ stump will end up standing alone in the exact same place we wanted to plant a live, nourishing fruit tree. Removing bitterness allows for the removal of other strongholds such as: lies, fear, rejection, anger, selfishness, and more. It’s the doorway to healing and freedom!
Just think about it. If you’re mad at somebody right now, he or she may not even be aware of it. This person may be going about having a wonderful day, with no clue you’re sitting home seething about what that person did to offend you. Meanwhile you’re getting nothing accomplished except for building up a higher wall of resentment. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re okay with what that person did to you; it just means that you’re releasing that person to God.
Forgiveness brings us closer to God, because forgiving people helps us to become more like Jesus. It’s how God prepares and perfects us, in preparation for bringing us home to live with Him in Heaven. We need to forgive people in the name of Jesus. Why? Because we can’t do it all by ourselves. Also, the forgiveness which comes from God is supernatural; it can take our hearts places we never imagined…all for our own personal healing…and better yet, for the glory of God and the growth of His Kingdom!
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be friends with your offender. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat for abuse. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to reconcile with someone who is unable to have a healthy, godly relationship with you. In fact, it may be that somebody actually needs to ask forgiveness of you. You can still forgive that person. Forgiveness just means letting go…and letting God.
Is there someone you have been struggling to forgive? Just pray: “I forgive ( name of offender) in Jesus’ name.” Then go about your day, and let Jesus work on your heart.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Col. 3:13 New Living Translation