Part of this devotional comes from one I wrote a few weeks ago. My heart hurts for someone this morning that is struggling to forgive. Whoever you are, I’m praying for you.
Have you ever been hurt by someone you love or trust? At sometime in your life, someone will hurt you or disillusion you. What you do with that hurt is paramount. Give it to God, and its power to control you ends. But kept inside your heart it festers and grows. Unforgiveness is a terrible cancer. It eats at your spiritual health and ultimately destroys your relationship with God. God has given man a free will to choose or reject Him, and you also have a free will to forgive or not to forgive.
“Do not judge,” Jesus instructs, “and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Isn’t the inability to forgive really judgment of that person? Your hurt and your pain do not give you a license to judge that person. It does not give you a license to be angry.
When you are devastated by someone's action, you have a choice what to do with the disillusionment and hurt. If you allow that hurt to define who you are, bitterness will be your banner. It will immobilize you. You are then in bondage to your pain. The Holy Spirit invites you to acknowledge your pain so you might forgive. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). God does not want you in bondage to your hurt or your disillusionment over someone else’s failure. That hurt can become your own failure. If you know the Lord, you have the freedom and the power to forgive.
Are you tired of the hurt you feel when another person doesn’t live up to Christ’s sacrificial love? Have you ever considered that your hurt also keeps you from living up to it? Let the pain go. Let the disillusionment and hurt go. Look to Christ as your perfect sacrifice because no one else can be that. Realize that no one is perfect. The Lord “will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you, and will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
You shall no longer be in bondage to your pain. Your heart will be free, and who the Lord sets free, is free indeed.