Forgiveness is a key component of grace. God freely forgives us. Sometimes, the Lord asks us to extend grace to others by forgiving them. At times, we also need to forgive ourselves.
Forgiving someone is about you, not the other person. The only person unforgiveness hurts is yourself. It is the equivalent of you drinking poison and expecting the other person to be harmed. When you hold onto an offense, you inadvertently allow that offense to have a hold over you. Unforgiveness also gives the enemy access to you and your life.
You might have a valid reason to be upset or hurt by someone’s actions, but it isn’t worth your health. Forgiving them doesn’t mean you have to stay friends with them or like their behavior or even them anymore. Forgiving them doesn’t mean that you are pretending it didn’t happen.
When you forgive someone, you are releasing them to God. You make a conscious decision that your freedom and well-being are more important than holding onto a grudge. Unforgiveness can hinder the flow of God’s grace in your life. Forgiveness gives God’s grace access to heal both of your lives.
Sometimes, the person we need to forgive is ourselves. When we mess up, we are tempted to turn inwards. If not checked, guilt and shame can run rampant and keep us trapped in an unhealthy cycle of self-condemnation. When we condemn ourselves, we are judging our own lives, which we do not have the authority to do. During self-condemnation, we will either subconsciously or intentionally deny ourselves the grace the Lord offers us.
This is an excerpt of the book, Lessons From God by Tanya Vezza.
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