Receive it. Give it away!

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.” Corrie Ten Boom 

 God’s gift of forgiveness is a powerful one. It is a foundation of our faith, separating us from every other major religion in the world. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  

 And what opens that gift to us? Forgiveness. Christ died on the cross at Calvary as propitiation — making it possible for us to seek forgiveness for our sins, instead of paying the penalty of death.  

 God, in all His might and glory, who hung the stars and ordered the worlds, saw fit to provide an escape for His fallen, yet beloved, humanity. Redemption was His plan from the start. It is a most beautiful piece of the salvation puzzle. And it is yours for the taking! 

 Why, then, knowing what God did for us and what He provides daily, do we find it so difficult to forgive others? Why, then, do we allow this unforgiveness to grow like a weed in our hearts, effectively choking out our joy, our effectiveness, our witness for Christ?  

 Today, reflect on these scriptural reminders of the importance of forgiveness:  

  • “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) 
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) 
  • “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your  sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) 

 Ask the Lord today to reveal any unforgiveness you might be holding on to. Seek His forgiveness and move forward in freedom! Don’t let another day pass, giving root to bitterness and hatred. 

 Recognize that the person most affected by your unforgiveness is you. Trust in the faithfulness of God to help you put the hurt behind you and find hope in Him.  

 My prayer this week—Lord, I recognize that forgiveness is a divine gift, and that to receive it I’ve got to be willing to offer it as well. Please reveal any harbored unforgiveness today and help me lay it down at your feet. I believe there is healing, hope, and freedom on the other side!