Forgiveness Is Essential

“People have to forgive. We do not have to like them, we do not have to be friends with them, we do not have to send them hearts in text messages, but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget. Because if we do not we are tying rocks to our feet, too much for our wings to carry!” ~ C. JoyBell C. …

Forgiveness is essential to the freedom of our souls. When we are able to extend forgiveness to others–even those who may seem undeserving of our forgiveness or love–we remove the “rocks that are tied to our feet,” rocks that keep us from soaring like eagles. For you see, anger and hatred are much too heavy stones for us to carry, stones that will eventually bury us.

I know a few individuals who are hell bent on holding grudges with those who have wronged them, saying that there is no way they will ever forgive them. Not only are these individuals bogged down with a maddening anger, hatred, and vengeance, but they also have limited their ability to experience this world in the fullness that they were meant to experience it. They lack the ability to love completely because they have denied themselves the chance to find the goodness in life even in the midst of suffering and pain.

What exactly are the costs of anger and hatred in your life? At what expense do you retain the grudges you hold within your heart? Jesus of Nazareth was a role model of forgiveness, offering it to those who betrayed him, condemned him, mocked him, beat him, and hung him from a cross, even in his hour of death. Such an ability to forgive holds with it powerful graces and mercy–the same graces and mercy afforded us by our Father. Let go of your anger and hatred… unburden your heart so that you may soar.

Forgive those who you hold a grudge against in your heart.

Questions to consider:

What rocks have you tied to your feet in your life? Are they still weighing upon your heart?

Why do we sometimes prefer to hold on to anger rather than practice forgiveness? What are the costs of doing so?

How can we strive to ensure that our forgiveness is sincere?

For further thought:

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat… You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness.” ~ William Paul Young, The Shack

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