THE HEALING POWER OF FORGIVENESS
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Then Peter came to Him and said,
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV
Do you struggle with forgiveness? It is commanded, and we exemplify Christ-likeness when we relinquish grudges. Our heads say, “We must,”, but our hearts say, “Must we?” The ability to forgive will soothe our broken hearts. It releases us from the prison of depression, and breaks the chains of bitterness. Forgiveness heals, but it also challenges us.
I would love to tell you a personal story about forgiveness. I could explain how releasing anger freed me from the pangs of heartache. I know all this is true in my head, but in my heart, I identify with Peter. Seven times? It has been more than seven times, but who needs to count?
I want to forgive, but when I get close, another incident rips the wound open. Whether the hurt is intentional or unintentional, it is still hurt.
The truth is that God has allowed these circumstances to occur. God is sovereign and everything in my life is Father-filtered.
When I looked at it from that prospective, the anger slipped away. Even now, I perceive how God is refining me.
One day, I will tell the story about the healing power of forgiveness, but for now, I am still in the midst of the waters. Still in the midst of the fire. God never said we would not traverse troubled waters, but He did say He would be right by our side.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” Is. 43:2 NKJV
Heavenly Father, You have forgiven us so much. We want to forgive (insert name), but it is extremely difficult. We can only do this through Your power. Help us do the right thing and forgive. Amen.
Read Matthew 18:21-35.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Perhaps you can tell your story of forgiveness and the effect it had on your life. Possibly, you are trying to forgive as someone continues to inflict pain. Join me in prayer as we ask God to enable us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us.
Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.