A One-Way Street
We heard a great message on Sunday from Dennis Gilles on how important it is to forgive and not hold on to bitterness.
Forgiveness is often a one-way street, but one that is well worth travelling.
Have you ever been wronged by someone? It would have happened to most of us several times in our lives. Our natural human reactions can be revenge, anger, bitterness, or even disillusionment.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all had to forgive someone. The ache of these injuries, the pain caused by others, can linger for years, decades, even a lifetime. Forgiving someone can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life. Yet, it’s through forgiveness that God heals our deepest wounds, and frees us from our prisons of anger, hate, self-pity, and bitterness.
Luke 23:34 says…Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith, with our Saviour, Jesus Christ, extending forgiveness even when He was dying on the cross. Jesus loved those who had nailed Him there, uttering a prayer asking His Father to forgive them. He didn’t hang on to bitterness or anger, but showed grace and love to those who had wronged Him.
When Jesus forgave those who crucified Him, they had not asked for forgiveness. Jesus would have never forgiven them if their asking were the prerequisite. Not only did He forgive them, He also did not hold it to their account. Forgiveness can be a one-way street.
As forgiveness is released, a remarkable thing happens. The hurt, anger, and bitterness is released as well. You can be freed from the hurt that is eating you up. Though most of the people that hurt us never ask for our forgiveness, as they are forgiven, we are freed and released.
Forgiveness isn’t always an easy thing to do, and feeling that release could take some time. But, you may be surprised at how good it does feels travelling down that road. Jesus didn’t expect anything in return as He forgave those who put Him to death. We need to forgive with those same expectations. Remember, forgiveness can be a one-way street!