Change Your Life Through Forgiveness
Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you? (Matthew 18:33, NLT)
Jesus tells a story in Matthew 18 about a man who was forgiven by a king for a debt he owed, but he chose not to forgive a fellow servant of his indebtedness to him. At the end of this parable, the king hears of the injustice and sends the first man to prison to be tortured. Embracing thoughts of bitterness and resentment toward another person is indeed torturous — not to the other person, but to ourselves.
We are not hurting the one who hurt us by being bitter and angry towards them. In truth, that person may not even know how we feel because we never took the time to talk about it and seek closure. When we harbor hateful thoughts and feelings, we are only hurting ourselves. The more we embrace such thoughts, the more that offense will stay foremost in our minds because whatever we hate or are bitter about will always be with us until we choose to let it go.
We don’t change the other person through forgiveness; we change ourselves. When we forgive those who offend us, we are showing that we trust God to make up the difference and that our peace of mind is more important than holding on to someone’s else throat. So change your life by choosing to forgive no matter what.
C.S. Lewis said, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
When we release people, we are moving ourselves out of the way to let God do what only He can do — change that person’s heart. If we’re trying to get revenge and prove a point, then God has no room to work out our situation. But when we move out of the way, God handles the situation and makes good emerge from a bad situation.
We are obligated to ourselves to forgive others. We don’t have to like them, trust them, or be close friends with them, but we do have to forgive them. When we forgive, we loose the weights from our wings and are free to soar into a beautiful life of peace and fullness.
Lord, there may be situations in life that we are trying to work out in our strength instead of trusting You. There may be people who have offended us who we feel don’t deserve forgiveness. Help us to forgive them anyway. Deliver us from harboring bitter, angry, resentful thoughts and feelings that only hurt us. Help us to choose to forgive even as You have forgiven us and experience peace of mind and soul. In Jesus’ name. Amen.