June 29, 2022
Let Your Prisoners Go!
There is no God like you. You forgive those who are guilty of sin; you don’t look at the sins of your people who are left alive. You will not stay angry forever, because you enjoy being kind. You will have mercy on us again; you will conquer our sins. You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the sea (Micah 7:18-19 NCV).
Friend to Friend
Sometimes the hardest thing to say is “I’m sorry” or to admit it when we have hurt someone! The only thing that can be harder is to forgive those who have hurt us!
We cannot really forgive until we have really been forgiven. Forgiveness was born on a cross where Jesus Christ loved us enough to die for our sin.
“But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NCV).
He didn’t wait until we shaped up or got cleaned up. He didn’t wait until we asked for forgiveness or even knew that we needed forgiveness. God is serious about forgiveness. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:23 (NLT).
"So, if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then, come and offer your sacrifice to God.”
God is saying that it doesn’t matter how much we do. If we have not forgiven someone or if we know someone has not forgiven us, we should drop everything, put life on hold, and get it right.
A little boy and his mom went shopping at the mall. The little boy acted very badly, whining, wanting everything he saw, and running away from his mother.
Driving home, he could tell his mom was very angry. He looked over at her and said, “When we are bad and we ask God to forgive us, He does, doesn’t He?” His mom glanced at him and replied, “Yes, He does.” “And when He forgives us He buries our sins in the deepest sea, doesn’t he?” The mom answered, “Yes, that is what the Bible teaches.” The little boy sat in silence for a while, and then he said, “I’ve asked God to forgive me. But I bet you’re going to go fishing for those sins, aren’t you?”
“There is no God like you. You forgive those who are guilty of sin; you don’t look at the sins of your people who are left alive. You will not stay angry forever, because you enjoy being kind. You will have mercy on us again; you will conquer our sins. You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19 NCV).
Part of true forgiveness is releasing the hurt, letting go of the pain. When we don’t, it becomes a constant spiritual and emotional drain. To experience the power of forgiveness, we have to quit fishing in the emotional waters of our past.
I love superglue and use it for just about everything. One day, I was trying to repair a miniature tea set, reached for my trusty superglue, and went to work. I glued the broken saucer and held it in place for 30 seconds, only to discover that I had glued my finger to the saucer. After several painful minutes of struggling to work my finger loose, I was free.
True forgiveness works the same way. When we refuse to release people from the hurt they have caused us, we are gluing them to their mistakes.
Nowhere does God say we have to feel like forgiving. He just commands us to forgive. Our feelings are irrelevant. Our obedience is what matters.
When we refuse to forgive, we not only harm ourselves, but we become a hindrance to God working in their lives as well.
“Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise, he may become so bitter and discouraged that he won’t be able to recover” (2 Corinthians 2:7 TLB).
Anytime we impede the work of God we are in a dangerous position. It’s time to let go of the hurt. It’s time to forgive.
Father, I am so tired of holding on to the pain in my life. Today, I lay down my pride and my rights. I will not seek revenge or retaliation. Instead, I choose to love my enemies and bless those who have harmed me. Please give me the strength and power to honor You as I step out in obedience. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there someone you need to forgive? Or is there someone whose forgiveness you need?
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