Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Written by: Shannon Swenson
Remember when you first received the forgiveness of Jesus? Remember that first rush of pure, unadulterated love and grace? I don’t know about you, but receiving that forgiveness was a heart transplant for me. It was receiving, but not necessarily quite understanding, the love that I can never be separated from. I felt like I had a whole new lease on life; like He had literally begun to work in my heart from the inside out. Sounds a lot like transformation, doesn’t it? It is.
Imagine what forgiving someone does for our own hearts. Imagine what that does for God’s heart. Imagine what that could do for someone else’s heart.
Forgiving can be one of the hardest things we face in life! But the pain of living with bitterness and unforgiveness can poison our soul and destroy us. When we forgive, we are not saying that what happened was okay, but we are releasing them to God and letting go of its hold on us.
Through forgiveness, God heals our deepest heart wounds and frees us from the cancer of hate, self-pity, and self-contempt. Forgiveness frees us from the temptation to be judge, jury, and executioner when we want to be human and make things right by repaying the hurt that was laid upon us.
The Bible says, “seventy times seven,” which seems so daunting and unrealistic if left to our own human nature. But God.
So, seeking love? Yes, seeking the love of Jesus and seeking to be more like Him every day. Humanly speaking, man it is hard to forgive. It’s like surgery. It can be painful. But God, He is faithful to fill you and I with forgiveness and grace as many times as we need it. It’s on repeat. Forever.
When past hurts rise up, our spiritual lives grow cold and our relational lives grow distant. But God is there.
He is always willing to help remind us of areas where we need to offer more mercy, grace, and forgiveness. We experience the great undoing of the total heart transplant of grace. We find out that forgiveness transforms lives, relationships, and eternities.
Thought of the day: Who do you need to forgive today? Why are you still holding on to bitterness, resentment, or past hurts? Are you willing to take a step towards forgiveness and freedom?
Prayer: Thank You for Your forgiveness and for lavishing me with more grace than I deserve. Help me to let go of the pain, resentment, and bitterness that stand in the way of a closer relationship with You and others. Show me how to take that first step toward freedom. Transform my heart from the inside out for Your glory and my good. Give me courage to walk through the pain so I can be free on the other side. Help me to lead by example so that others will see that I don’t just say I believe in You, but I follow You and they may choose to say yes to you too. In Jesus’ name, amen.