I remember having a discussion with a lady who bore great animus towards a friend of mine. And–it was clear from the vitriolic nature of her comments about my friend that she believed her bitterness was fully justified. I’ll never forget our conversation because God used it to teach me a valuable lesson. Hurt which we allow to evolve into bitterness–only hurts us. We place ourselves in the same place as the person who wronged us—in need of forgiveness.

It doesn’t matter how deeply someone else wounds us; we are still accountable to God for our reaction. We react wrongly because we believe ourselves innocent; thus, justifying our unforgiving heart. We FORGET that the only reason we are innocent is because God has forgiven our innumerable trespasses against Him; therefore, we trample on His gift by failing to forgive those who have trespassed against us. Jesus explains the command to forgive in Matthew 18:21-35. We are the great debtors and our fellow man is less indebted to us than we are to God–thus, we should gratefully forgive each other.

Forgiveness is essential for a healthy heart.

The purpose of forgiveness isn’t primarily to change the heart of the wrongdoer, it’s to change us! Closeness to Almighty God transforms us. An unforgiving heart can’t be close to God because our refusal to forgive is a trespass against His love. God is righteous and if we want to be close to Him we must love Him enough to obey Him. Sadly, this bitter lady died without ever resolving her hate. I’m sure if she could speak to us now, she’d tell us the prison was not worth living in–for even one day.

When Jesus forgives us, He gives us the freedom to forgive each other. His Word says: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) How sweet is our life when it is lived in an abundance of forgiveness!

To learn more about Kimberly Faith and the mission of Faith Strong, click HERE

Out Now – Essential Faith, volume II.  Find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.

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