It’s easy to think of forgiveness as just the exchange of an apology. Really, forgiveness is the key to freeing your heart to God, yourself, and others. Forgiving others isn’t just a command we are given, it’s helps us live a vibrant and healthy life.
Unlock Your Heart
Forgiveness is foundational to our walk as believers. Because we are forgiven, we live free. At the same time, because we are forgiven, we have the responsibility to release ourselves and others from all offenses. A lack of forgiveness in our lives leads to stagnancy in our hearts. This can look like bitterness, and when grown over time, festers into resentment. Research out of Berkeley University shows that holding grudges negatively impacts your health and physical body, leading to an increase in cortisol and stress.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).
Jesus Modeled Forgiveness
“Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father. For they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In the weakest of moments, Jesus modeled how humility leads us into forgiveness for others. We cannot forgive while believing we are better than those who have hurt us. Even more, we cannot forgive ourselves without understanding how God has set us free from our own sin. If you find yourself unable to look past your mistakes, receiving God’s forgiveness for yourself is the way out.
Surrender your right to be “right” as you navigate forgiving in your life. Remember that we forgive because He first forgave us. In Jesus, we were given the ultimate freedom from sin and death. It is from this place God empowers us to walk in radical humility and forgiveness for those around us.
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