“Forgive us the wrongs we have done
as we ourselves release forgiveness
to those who have wronged us.”
Matthew 6:12 TPT
In the last blog we looked at our Identity as Forgiven children, not because of anything that we have done, but as something that God gifts us with. It is who we are...we are forgiven. The interesting thing with the Identity that we are gifted with is that God asks us to take those free gifts, the traits He has given us, and ‘pay them forward’.
When Jesus taught us to pray, He taught us to repent and ask for our Heavenly Father’s forgiveness, but in the same breath He also told us to forgive others... “release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.” Sometimes, this is easy, and sometimes it takes all our strength. I have personally experienced the latter of these. You see when someone’s actions betray or hurt us emotionally, it can be very difficult to forgive them. We want to see them pay for what they have done to us, and maybe they deserve it, but that is not what God asks us to do. He asks us to pass on the grace and forgiveness that He has given us and He gives us the strength required to do it. We do not have to find the strength ourselves, God has gifted us with the ability to forgive as Christ forgave us.
You see when we hold onto hurt, when we walk in revenge and bitterness, the person that gets hurt the most is ourselves. It darkens our heart, which actually darkens the way we see everything around us. It is like putting on a pair of black glasses, not sunglasses that enhance the colours, black glasses that prevent you from seeing the colours. You start to see everything and everyone through these lenses, even people’s actions, and begin to be suspicious of those around you. It actually imprisons you in a black tomb.
Forgiving someone is not letting them off the hook, it is not condoning their actions, it is saying, God I trust you and I will put this in Your hands. It is actually saying, I will not let what you did to me hold me back from a great life. You see I can tell you from my own personal struggle with forgiveness that it will bring you freedom. The action of forgiving will release the hold that the hurt has over your life. It will enable you to move on to bigger and better things. We need to purposefully choose what lens we are going to look through. What lens we will interpret people’s actions with. Will we allow unforgiveness to turn into bitterness and blacken our life, or will we choose forgiveness and enjoy the freedom and colours that God has for us? Let’s choose forgiveness.
I want to invite you to apply this to your life. Take some time and meditate on Matthew 5:43 – 48. Really allow it to penetrate your heart and mind, and then apply it to the situation that you are struggling with. I know this is not easy, but I promise you, that if you commit to this process you will experience freedom from this situation that you have never had before. Start by praying these words every time you think of the person or event, “God I forgive_____ for _______” (fill in the blanks with the person or people’s names and the wrong they did to you). At first you may feel like you are saying it every minute of the day (that’s how I felt) but if you will commit to it, if you will trust God, it will get less and eventually you won’t even think of it and when you do, it won’t have the pain attached to it. Let me pray for you... Lord God I want to thank you for the forgiveness that you have given us, I want to thank you for releasing us from the sins that held us captive. I ask now that you would help us to pay this forward to the people that have hurt us. I ask that you would lead us in this process and help us to truly forgive. We trust that you have our best at heart Lord God and we place these situations into Your hands. In Jesus name, Amen.