In Matthew 6:15, Jesus says, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” There are many opinions about what that means exactly, but the lesson is clear: Forgive! Who do you need to forgive? Wait a second to let the Holy Spirit bring that person to your mind. What they did may have been unthinkable, but it’s time to let go of that anger and turn it over to God. Holding onto it will only make you bitter and resentful, but letting go is a step to freedom and joy for yourself. I know that first hand.
Shortly after becoming a Christian, the Lord started talking to me about forgiveness. At first, I didn’t think I held any grudges against anyone. I didn’t feel bitter or resentful, but the signs were there. My mouth often dished out heaping spoonfuls of scathing sarcasm, dismissive mocking, and pessimistic cynicism. The Lord revealed to me the truth that I’d held onto anger about growing up with divorced parents. My family wasn’t perfect, and my heart was keeping a record of the wrongs against the people close to me without even letting my brain know. Is it possible you have unconscious anger against someone who love?
God wants us to feel free and happy so let’s forgive those we love. Go ahead. Ball up your fist. Call the name(s) of the people you want to forgive and open your hand to let them go. Join me in prayer. “Lord, I confess I haven’t been quick to forgive. Thank You for forgiving me all of my wrongs. Since You forgave me, I want to show my gratitude by forgiving others because I want to be obedient to You. I trust that You are just, and You will repay my debtors according to Your will. Help me to be quick to forgive all those that wrong me in the future so I can be free and joyful like You want me to be. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”