unforgiveness? Are you hanging onto hurt and carrying the weight of betrayal? It may be hard to accept... it may be difficult to hear, but the simple truth of the matter is forgiving someone is a simple choice. It is a choice to hold onto a burden or a choice to lesson our load and trust God and take on His yoke. A choice to allow God's grace to shine through us or a choice to let the devil's hardness incarcerate us.
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30)
When we fail to forgive, we fail to trust God. We carry the weight alone and bottle up feelings of resentment. The idea of moving on seems unjustified, for many of whom we hold such anger continue to do nothing decent to warrant true forgiveness. They are not apologetic. They do not care for our feelings. They will do it again... it is certain. So, in a desperate act to protect our hearts from being trampled on, we shield ourselves emotionally by isolating ourselves just enough. We hold back relations and hang onto the control of not getting hurt again. The only problem is, the only person being controlled and affected by the matter, is US! Satan has cornered us from moving on. He has thrown a burden on our back that is preventing us from keeping our hearts open, soft, and malleable for the Lord to mold and work with.
Ladies, what is the greatest commandment?... To love our Lord with everything we have. What is the second greatest commandment?... To love others as ourselves. To be healthiest, we need to love... EVERYBODY. The command to love is mandate from God. Even if we don't want to forgive... even if our feelings and emotions are torn to shreds... obediently we must remember that we are to always respond in love. Read what God has instructed us in Ephesians concerning forgiveness, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Once we decide to mirror Christ's grace and let go, we are free to let Him heal us. We are free to love and be loved. We are no longer occupying our time by wasting our emotions and resources on feeding the burden of bitterness. Rather, we are able to allow God to nourish our soul and welcome in His healthy purpose - moving life forward in worship and peace. It is a collaborative effort of trusting our Savior's power to renew us while we continue to lay our resentment on the altar. It is a process where we let go and give our hearts to Him.
Letting go can also allow us to look at our relationships with spiritual eyes. It will allow us to objectively and prayerfully address toxic relationships with people who only wish to keep us in bondage. We begin to change around unchanging people. This usually scares others and causes them to work harder in pulling us backwards. However, in these cases remember David's words, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2) This coming from a man who had many unstable, unhealthy relationships. But no matter what, David always put his complete trust in the most stable relationship of all... with God. He laid his burdens and heavy feelings of worry, bitterness, mistrust... you name it... he laid them on the altar and gave his trust to God to handle matters. Read through the Psalms and you will see a man who sought the heart of The Almighty so that his heart could remain faithful and filled with song. We are not meant to live as if we are standing on unstable ground in our salvation. No. We are to stand on The Solid Rock - our Redeemer. We are to trust Him with ALL our heart, soul and mind and let Him guide our ways while we only focus on loving.
We are living a new life in Jesus Christ. We are releasing our burdens to Him to change us... to move us closer to be like Him. We are being made new. Let's give up the bondage, weight and ugliness of unforgiveness and let it go. Let's give it to our God and then seek Him to show us how to move forward in grace. Let's love because He first loved us. (See 1 John 4:19)
Lord, we all deal with unforgiveness in our hearts. Shine your light in us and remove all darkness. Take our grudges and help us lay them at your feet rather than hang onto them. We know that you did not intend for us to live under the bondage of hurt. We need you to teach us and change us to be more like Christ who continues to be our perfect example. Lord, we know that you see all things - including the responsibilty and consequences that belong to other persons behavior and actions toward us. We trust that you will show us how to best handle each hurtful situation as Jesus would. We only wish for a gentle and humble heart. We long for the rest and peace that only you can give. Please give us your yoke and help us to eliminate seeking retribution. Help us to come to you in a spirit of trust... giving you all power over every single situation that poisons our ability to love and stifles our relationships. Set us free, Jesus. We give you EVERYTHING!
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