Forgiveness Frees Us from Anger
Unforgiveness is holding a list in our heart demanding people to personally account to us for what they have done. Unforgiveness involves anger. Unforgiveness involves a desire for vengeance. Unforgiveness involves bitterness. We need to be willing to release the people in our hearts for their sins against us. Sometimes, Christians misunderstand the Scriptures that say that a person should repent when we rebuke them. These people say, “I will forgive when the offender repents.” There are other Scriptures, however, that require us to forgive regardless of the other person’s attitude.
Jesus said that we are to be like our Heavenly Father. He sends rain on people who are just and unjust. The Lord also makes the sunrise for the evil and the good alike. God is kind to everyone. Forgiveness should happen in our hearts whether people ask us to forgive them or not. Forgiveness is all about our hearts. This is where we are to release the people who hurt us.
After all, we cannot ultimately forgive people for their sin before God. This is their debt to the Heavenly Judge. Only God can forgive people for their sins against Him. We are to release people from our personal vengeance. We cannot harbor bitterness in our hearts. Our attitude towards others should always be redemptive.
In this way, forgiveness is actually empowering. It allows us to take control of what has been done to us, and it empowers us to release the offender. It frees us from our anger and a desire for vengeance. When we forgive, we free not only our offender but also ourselves. We can now walk in freedom from the negative emotions that held our hearts hostage. We are no longer responsible for vengeance. God is. When we forgive, we hand our offender over to God.
When we forgive, we say that the individual no longer owes us anything. What the individual did against us is now a matter for them to settle with God. If the person repents, God will forgive this individual just like He forgave us. Since we no longer owe God for our sins, we cannot hold anyone else as our debtors. Now, it is for God to decide whether to bring vengeance on the person who hurt us. The Bible says that revenge belongs to Him. We can now walk in the freedom that He gave us to forgive and be forgiven.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6
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