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Monday, October 5, 2015

Free from the Debt

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32, NLT).

Do you hurt over something that you feel has been done to you? Perhaps it wasn't intentional, but you are convinced that it was. Whether intentional or not, you hurt because of it. Don't allow anger and bitterness to fester and grow. Don't react with harsh words and anger. Don't isolate yourself in your pain and feelings of rejection. If you close the door of your heart, you close your heart to the healing forgiveness that the Holy Spirit imparts.

Forgiveness is so necessary for our spiritual survival, and our peace in this life. It is God's requirement. It means laying down feelings and listening. It means a willingness to face the hurt in order to understand. You might discover that what you thought happened never happened. You might discover there was a reason for something that you never knew about. Make an effort to face the hurt and reach out. If you don't try, you gain nothing. If after attempting to discuss things you still are convinced that you were intentionally hurt by this person, then what are you going to do with it? Forgiveness is still what is needed for your heart to be set free from its hurt.

Paul writes that we are to be kind and tenderhearted toward each other, forgiving each other as Jesus Christ forgave us. Jesus came to offer us the greatest forgiveness. If we believe in Him, then forgiveness should always reign in our heart over any anger or hurt. God created us to be forgiven. He gave His life to forgive you and to forgive me. Without His forgiveness realized in our own life, we will never be able to completely and unconditionally forgive. “When we fail to accept and receive God's grace and forgiveness,” David Seamands imparts in Healing for Damaged Emotions, “we also fail to give unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace to other people. This results in emotional conflicts between us and other people. The unforgiven are the unforgiving, and unforgiving complete the vicious cycle because they cannot be forgiven.”

Christ's forgiveness breaks into this vicious cycle. Our sin has been fully forgiven. He has paid our debt in full so that we don't have to hold another person in a debt of unforgivness. We were created to be debt-free “where we love each other because we are loved. Where we accept because we are accepted. Where we grace one another and are gracious because we have been graced. We know the joy of having seen the Master tear up the charge card that we have spent beyond paying!” (David Seamands, Healing of Damaged Emotions . We have been freely forgiven so that we can freely forgive! With Jesus' love flowing in our hearts, we are free to live a completely debt-free life.

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