To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation. We set that person free from the negative bonds that exist between us. We say, ‘I no longer hold your offense against you.’ But there is more. We also free ourselves from the burden of being the ‘offended one.’ As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God.  ~Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness is to the soul what a trade wind is to a sailboat. 

Have you ever been in a small group and someone starts in… “I can’t forgive this person for what they have done to me”?  Well, they are half right.  They can’t.  To truly forgive it takes more than mere will power, it takes the grace of God alive in your heart.  And while you try as hard as you can to forgive but just can’t find it in you to go there—all the praying, bible reading, and attending church you can muster will never relieve your responsibility to forgive.

36Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36, ESV).

As it is when we first encounter Christ and the forgiveness we find in him, so it is in our other relationships.  There is a freedom we can only find in forgiving our adversaries and absolving those we have allowed to hold us captive in an emotional prison.

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