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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Choose to Let the Pain Go

Have you been hurt or rejected by another person? Does your heart feel cold and hard when you remember what they have done? Or does your hurt fill your days incessantly with pain? Unforgiveness is a terrible cancer. It eats at your spiritual health and ultimately destroys your relationship with God. God has given us a free will to choose or reject Him. We also have a free will to either forgive or not to forgive. Forgiveness is a choice. It is a decision that does not always come in the beginning with the human emotion and feeling that you expect to accompany it.

“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? They may have hurt you horribly, but that does not give you a license to judge. It does not give you a license to withhold forgiveness. “It's not fair,” you cry out, and what you might hear, if your heart is really listening, is Jesus' whisper of “it was not fair for me either.”

When you are devastated by someone, you have a choice what to do with the hurt and the bitterness. If you allow that hurt to define who you are, the emotional pain can imprison you. You are in bondage to your pain. “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 pain. His Spirit wants to free you from it. He loves you, and He knows that your pain will destroy you. He wants to take your pain, but when unforgiveness is involved, just pleading with Him to take your pain will not accomplish anything. You must make a conscious decision to forgive the source of your pain. Is it easy? No. But the results will one day liberate you. With that decision to daily forgive, one day you will know freedom from the torture. You will know freedom and healing.

A year ago parents of a murdered girl spoke of forgiving her murderer. They talked freely about letting the anger go, and wanting to be free of the burden of being victims. They wanted to move forward and not “go to prison with him”. They knew they needed to let go of their pain, and surrender the burden of wanting to get even. They had the freedom to choose either bitterness or forgiveness. With Christ's power they were able to choose forgiveness.

Are you tired of your hurt, and your pain? Choose to let it it go. Choose to forgive. The feelings will come, and He “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).

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