But now you should forgive him and encourage him. This will keep him from having too much sadness and giving up completely.So I beg you to show him that you love him. (2 Cor. 2:7-8, ERV)
Unforgiveness is a long heavy chain that wraps itself around its prey. It’s like a snake that squeezes the life out of its victim. The weight of unforgiveness is so heavy that the target is unable to loosen the grip without the help of someone else – one who’s much stronger. Although the victim struggles to break free from the grip of unforgiveness, she cannot because its weight holds her down. The longer she refuses to forgive, the tighter, the heavier, the stronger burden becomes until it leaves her powerless. Not only that, but the longer unforgiveness remains, the more it bites and gnaws at us, leaving damaging scars that aren’t easily repaired.
Most of us have fallen victim to the weight and tight grip of unforgiveness. It occurs when we hold on to past hurts and wounds that have been dealt to us by another person. Even though we think we have gotten past that hurt, even though we pretend that we have moved on, we still have those rotten scars to remind us of that hurt, that wound. Like a chain, unforgiveness wraps around us keeping us locked up, shackled and bound.
For some of us who wrestle with unforgiveness we CAN break free from its grip! We can be released from its heavy weight. We can let go of its power. But we have to be willing and ready to be free. So, are we ready to let it go? Are we ready to be free from unforgiveness?
The Holy Spirit convicts us and says, “Unforgiveness has been sucking the life out of you. You are drained, worn out, and barely surviving because you won’t forgive.” We’ve tried covering up the hurt and those ugly scars with a beautiful smile. We’ve tried to be strong and show no weakness. We’ve tried to bury our hurt deep into the ground, locked away in a hidden vault, but our unforgiveness is still there presently gnawing away at us. Our phony smile and superficial strength has temporarily guarded us, but has not freed us.
Sisters, we no longer have to be victims of that yoke, but we can be emancipated from that sinful spirit!
The power of the cross sets everyone free who is bound by something. Whether we are held captive by hatred, jealousy, resentment, unforgiveness or whatever the sin may be, Jesus makes us free (John 8:36)! The blood of our Savior and the love of the Father have freed us! When we trust Christ as our Savior and believe in the wonderful work God did at the cross, we are forgiven and we are able to forgive others (Mk 11:25). Patiently and lovingly, Jesus wants to show us how to forgive those who have wronged us and how to forgive ourselves. Through His Word, and the help of the Holy Spirit, God will show us how to let go of the hurt and move forward.
Satan, on the other hand, wants to keep us in captivity. He wants us to keep replaying in our minds over and over again the hurt we’ve experienced. The devil wants us to keep holding onto the hurt, keep reliving it, keep looking back at it, which makes it hard for us to forgive and move on. Without forgiving others, we can’t move forward. And if we can’t move forward, we cannot grow deeper in God. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is hindered when we don’t forgive. Are we ready to forgive?
The enemy uses unforgiveness to keep us bound and ineffective for Christ. But God wants us to forgive and to be free so we can be effective witnesses for Him. Sisters, it’s time for us to release that hurt. It’s time for us to stop looking back. It’s time for us to walk out of the captivity of unforgiveness because Jesus has already freed! Now He requires us to forgive and He beckons us to walk with Him in that freedom.
My sister, we are no longer victims to unforgiveness. Not anymore. But we triumph over that hurt and over our pass, and we rejoice in victory with Jesus Christ!
Pray this prayer with me. Father, forgive me for fighting against You. I want to forgive and be free from this hurt. Lord, give me Your strength to forgive, Your power to love and move forward. Help me not to relive that pain anymore. I trust You and I receive Your healing today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
During your quiet time, read Ephesian 4 and let’s be persuaded to forgive! LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!
*Originally posted 6/26/12.
Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart.
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