When was the last time you were faced with having to forgive someone in your life?
Bitterness and Resentment
It feels like in our modern society we don’t think about forgiveness very often. That’s because we tend to let conflict fizzle out after it happens – something that usually leads to unchecked resentment or bitterness. I know I’m guilty of this. After talking through conflict with a friend or loved one, I want to just move on with life and with the relationship. It’s easier that way.
Usually, this means that I move on without making a conscious effort at forgiveness. Because of this, past hurts tend to flare up in the future in the form of lingering bitterness and renewed conflict. And if it’s a serious issue that calls for forgiveness, then this bitterness will be even more destructive as it sets in deeper and deeper.
This is a hard topic to think through, especially since conflict and relational struggles are such a prevalent part of our day-to-day lives. Not only is it important to forgive someone, but it also offers relief to your mental health to forgive and move on. Hanging onto bitterness and anger can even at times make us physically ill. Most of all, it greatly affects spiritual health and the ability to love God and others well. Forgiving means that resentment and its harm will have no hold over you, and your relationships will flourish because of it.
Our God of Forgiveness
Forgiveness also brings us closer to God’s design. Praise the Lord that He is a God of forgiveness!
In Matthew 18:21-33 Jesus tells a story of a servant who owed a king a huge sum of money. After begging for forgiveness, the king cancels the entire debt and lets the servant go free. The servant did not learn his lesson but went on to demand money from one of his own debtors, offering no mercy in the process. This is a convicting story, but it offers us wonderful hope.
Don’t miss the fact that Jesus is the King! Just like the servant, He has forgiven all of our debt and all of our wrongs. We walk in His forgiveness and loving care every single day.
Jesus as the Example
Friends, this is our real motivation and example for offering forgiveness. We, who have been forgiven of EVERYTHING, can offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us. And, in the process, leave resentment and bitterness behind.
Not only will this help your mental, spiritual, and physical health, but it will also heal your relationships. Most importantly, it will bring you closer to God’s heart for you and His design for your relationships. Look to the example of our King of forgiveness and what a gift this is to each of us!
If you are looking for more resources on forgiveness and want an even deeper dive into its ins and outs, check out our MercyTalk Podcast series, Breaking Down Forgiveness. Listen to the series by clicking here!
Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.
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