Scripture: Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Reflection: Forgive and forget – I’m sure we have all heard that once or twice in our lifetime. There are some situations I still find myself reeling over, holding on to years later, and allowing the situation to bring up feelings of bitterness and anger. Just when you thought you were over the broken heart, you saw him again and every emotion you felt at that moment came back. Just when you thought you had forgiven someone for the abuse, you saw or heard something that made you feel as vulnerable and defenseless as you did all those years ago.
I have always felt like the act of forgiving someone was giving them permission to do the same thing again; forgiving them somehow diminished the hurt they caused.
Oh, but it doesn’t!
Forgiving others allows God the room to forgive us for our wrongs. Forgiving others sets us free from our own transgressions when we seek forgiveness from God. Forgiving others bring us closer to Him whose forgiveness we require. I don’t want to pretend that forgiving is easy, but it is necessary.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me. Forgive me for the things I have done that have caused me to drift away from You. Forgive me for being unwilling to accept the fact that I need forgiveness – that I do, indeed, cause others to hold on to bitterness. Also, give me a heart of forgiveness that I can forgive those who have caused me to hold on to old pains. Help me to not continue to hurt others because I am hurting. Let this be done so I can be set free to receive Your blessings. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.