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Forgiveness: The Key to Fullness

By Candise Schmidt

Why is forgiveness so important? The bible commands us to forgive or we will not be forgiven. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him, He forgave those who railed against Him and He forgave those who did not believe in Him. If forgiveness was so important to the Son of the Living God shouldn’t we give heed to the subject of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the key to revival, the key to healing and the key to living a kingdom life. What is forgiveness? How do we forgive? Does it have to come from the heart? And what happens if we decide not to forgive? This article will look at forgiveness from a biblical perspective and also give a personal testimony to how forgiveness has changed my life.

Is forgiveness a conscious choice or an emotion?

Forgiveness is a command from the Father, but when we forgive others we make a decision that is motivated by the love we have for the Father and comes from our desire to be obedient. Out of love for the Father we choose to forgive those who have hurt us.

The Bible instructs us to forgive as the Lord forgave us:

In Matthew 18:21-35 Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother and asks if up to seven times is enough. Jesus tells him not seven times but seventy times seven and then goes on to tell the disciples the parable about a King that wanted to settle an account with his slaves. The king forgave his servant all of his debt because the servant begged. After being forgiven that same servant went out and found another that owed him money, but he did not show the same mercy that was shown to him. He demanded full payment and had the man thrown in prison who could not pay. This action was reported to the king and the king became livid, and called the man a wicked slave. He was reproved for not showing mercy as he was shown. The punishment for this was to be thrown into prison with torturers until every last penny was paid in full. In verse 35 Jesus states “so shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” (NASB)

Matthew 6:14-15 tells us if we forgive others our heavenly Father will also forgive us but if we do not forgive our transgressions will not be forgiven.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.(NIV)

These are just a few verses on forgiveness covered in the Word of God.

What if we do not feel like forgiving others and want to prove we are right?

We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Forgiveness is not in our nature, it is a choice we make whether we feel like it or not. Often when we are angry we do not want to forgive but prove to others that we are right and the other person is wrong. This attitude causes bitterness to arise. It also puts us in a situation where we are not trusting God to be our advocate. We have to trust that when we forgive and give these people and the situation over to the Father that he will avenge us and take care of the situation, even if we are not justified. God will repay each one according to his deeds 2 Timothy 4:14.

God will honor our obedience when we choose to forgive. Only He can fulfill this work in our heart and this only happens in His time. As we persist in forgiving others and cast down the thoughts of the enemy the Fathers work is done in our hearts by faith Philippians 1:6.

How will we know if we have truly forgiven?

Corrie Ten Boom, said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.”

When we forgive we receive freedom and peace, there is a change in our lives that will be evident to everyone around us. We are the ones who suffer most when we choose not to forgive. When we choose not to forgive we become a prisoner of anger, bitterness and resentment. Unforgiveness causes sickness, pain, anguish and instability in our lives. Unforgiveness affects us mentally, physically and spiritually. Unforgiveness is all encompassing and has eternal effects on our lives. It does not affect the other person at all and many times the other person does not even know that they have offended you.

Personal testimony

For many years I was holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness that I never knew was there. I did not know that it was the cause to the fibromyalgia I had in my body for over fifteen years. I completed bondage breaker courses and forgave family and friends for hurts or so I thought. After fifteen years of bondage and getting to the point where I could not even worship any more I heard about the sozo process offered by a local church. I have to admit, I was not putting much hope into the process since nothing else had ever seemed to break the bondage that was in my life. I went and to my surprise I came out not just spiritually healed but physically healed. I waited for a week before I said anything to anyone because I wanted to be sure but it has been three months and I am still healed.

During the sozo process I got to the root or a rejection issue that I had since early childhood. This rejection caused a root of bitterness and an untold amount of unforgiveness in my life. Once I realized that was in unforgiveness toward my grandmother I chose to forgive her and release her from all the pain and hurt that had been in my life for over forty years.

It was not hard to choose to forgive her but walking in that forgiveness is not so easy. I truly love her and want good for her life but the enemy still uses her to attempt to put me back into my former condition.

What does it mean to forgive?

Thankfully forgiving someone does not mean that I have to be in a close relationship to them, nor does it mean that I have to be best friends with them or even see them. What it does it mean to forgive? To forgive means: I do not live in bitterness any longer, I no longer let the enemy have control over my life and I do not have to live within a victim mentality any longer. The choice to forgive brings freedom like I have never known before. I can now recognize when the enemy begins to lie to me and tries to bring me back under bondage. I know how Father God sees me and that is the picture I hold on to when the enemy comes in like a flood.

I hope this helps just one person to find the lie in their life and walk in the complete freedom of forgiveness. I do not have forgiveness mastered and there are still issues in my life that need to be dealt with but this is just the beginning of freedom in my life.

I am a Christian mother and Nana. I love the Father’s word and love to teach others. I am in the process of obtaining my Masters Degree in Discipleship Training and Religious Studies. I am hoping to start teaching in a Christian College in the next year and move on to a PHD.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERMAKE A WEBSITE

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