Forgiveness brings freedom, a gift the Lord wants to give anyone struggling with forgiving another person. Sometimes, struggles leave us deeply hurt, even if it isn’t our fault. These may include a relationship problem, false accusations, or physical or emotional abuse. These can be the source of the root of bitterness in our hearts.
The Lord tells us the importance of guarding our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.  When I protect my heart, I quickly recognize the weeds of bitterness. Forgiving others allows the Lord to remove the weeds of bitterness. If we are honest, we can fall into the trap of offense if we are not vigilant.
Joseph Let Go and Forgave
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and later falsely imprisoned. These incidents could have resulted in a bitter heart. As his life unfolds, we see that instead of becoming bitter, Joseph chooses to forgive. Forgiveness is an act of our will, and with God’s help, we can forgive. Forgiving another person is not dependent on the other person asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice.
Genesis 50:19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Forgive and Let Go
The Apostle Paul gives a fantastic insight into forgiveness. Colossians 3:13Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
When I make allowances, I begin to see people like Jesus sees them and remember that Jesus died for all my sins. God wants you to live a fulfilled life, but unforgiveness can be a barrier, blocking God’s plan for your life. Sometimes we must be honest and ask for the Lord’s help to forgive. I have done that in my own life because I could not forgive in my strength. When we choose to forgive and bless those who hurt us, we will experience the peace and joy that comes from obeying God’s word.
To learn how forgiveness brings freedom, listen here:
[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.