One of the hardest habits for us to adopt is the habit of forgiveness. When we’ve been wronged, we feel justified in holding anger and resentment against the one who wronged us. I’ve learned in my own life that anger, resentment and being hurt are all that’s needed to become bitter. That bitterness then becomes a prison that holds your thoughts captive and stops any progress in your life. It has the power to consume you and that kind of bitterness causes you to spread that poison to others.
God wants us to let go of the wrongs that have been done to us because He knows that’s where our freedom lies. You cannot be a productive Christian if you’re holding anger, resentment, or bitterness towards someone else. God’s desire is that we turn the other cheek, not so we can get hurt again, but so we can lead with our un-bruised side. He knows that we will be better witnesses for Him when we don’t lead with our hurts and bruises out front. He knows that we can be healed in time when we first learn the habit of forgiveness.
In Matthew 6, we find the Lord’s Prayer. I’m sure you’ve memorized it at one point in your life. What you may not have memorized are verses 14-15 which come immediately after it. Jesus followed up His prayer with, “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in Heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father in Heaven will not forgive the wrongs you have done” (GNT). Your forgiveness from God is dependent on your ability to forgive others.
I like how the Amplified Bible describes what forgiving “wrongs” is and looks like. It says, “Their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up your resentment.” All of this is put on you, not the other person or God. Your own forgiveness starts with your ability to let go of what someone else has willfully done to wrong you. The life God has for you will be bright and fresh again once you choose to adopt the habit of forgiveness.
Photo by Maria Turkmani:
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
4 responses to “The Habit Of Forgiveness”
“God’s desire is that we turn the other cheek, not so we can get hurt again, but so we can lead with our un-bruised side.”
I’ve never heard it put this way before, Chris. So true!
When we lead with our hurt, we tend to hurt others and show bitterness. Forgiveness frees us to lead with love.
What an awesome word. I think alot of us struggle with this but with Jesus we can forgive just like he did and still does.
I pray Jesus helps me to forgive other’s just like he forgave me.
Thank you so very much for this word!
You’re welcome. Thanks for reminding us to ask Jesus for help in this when our flesh falls short.