Power To Forgive
"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" Matthew 18:21
For years I went through a "confession" routine of forgiveness. Repeatedly, I said that I had forgiven the people who had violated me, victimized me, and so deeply hurt me. Years passed, and yet I was still struggling with the thoughts of those who offended me. Even though I had not seen many of them for years, my pain still did not disappear.
You have heard the proverbial saying, "out of sight, out of mind." It is not necessarily so with those who have badly hurt you. Some of them had passed away, and yet they were still alive in my memories.
How could the people who had injured me be so free and so happy? Yet I was still imprisoned by hurt and bitterness? Out of frustration, I begged the Lord to remove the hurt that was eating at me like cancer. In the midst of deep prayer, a soft voice spoke to my heart, "Allow Me the ability to place forgiveness in you."
The lesson was plain-forgiveness is a choice. We have the choice to hold resentment and bitterness inside forever or allow the Holy Spirit to place His forgiveness inside us.
I visited this subject again today, because after years of ministry, the top issue I see that prevents people from going in their walk with God is unforgiveness. I have met pastors and pastor's wives who have been hurt by their congregation. I have met parishioners who have been hurt by pastors, and they too are prisoners of war (POW's). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anyone that has hurt you. Then give God permission to place His forgiveness into your heart. Now get ready to experience freedom.