Work Your Forgiveness Muscle

Forgiveness. Necessary for one’s own peace of mind and one’s sanity, but hard to earn and hard to give. There’s an old saying about holding a grudge being like feeding poison to ourselves. We are holding on to the anger slowly dying on the inside while the other person is living their life and more often than not are unaware that you are still holding on to the pain. A recent study found that participants were able to jump higher in the air when they could recall a time that they forgave someone than when they recalled a time where they held a grudge. So not only does holding a grudge cause you pain but it also makes you heavier. If you think about your weighted down with the pain an emotion of something that was done to you in the past and it is holding you back from living your best life in the present.

Matthew 6:14-15 says, If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Father will forgive you. If you don’t forgive others when they sin against you then your Father won’t forgive you.

It is hard to forgive when someone wounds you deeply but you have to remember all the times that you have been forgiven. What does it serve you to deny forgiveness to someone? What do you get out of that? You get a little satisfaction for the moment but you are still walking around holding on to the hurt. The other person isn’t even thinking about what happened.  To them it is in the past, but you are forcing yourself to relive it over and over. Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong, it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak, it sets you free. Sometimes forgiveness can feel more painful than the wound itself, but without it, you can’t have any peace. So sometimes you have to choose freedom over your pride.

Yes you have to choose.  Forgiveness is a choice.  You can’t choose to wipe away the hurt, but you can choose to cast off the bitterness, anger and the feelings of the need for revenge. Trust in God and hand the judgment over to Him.

 

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