Day 13: Freedom Through Forgiveness
"He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted...to set at liberty them that are bruised." (Luke 4:18).
Maybe your wound is fresh. Or perhaps it is old. A family member abused you. A spouse was unfaithful to you. A friend betrayed you. A co-worker used you for a stepping stone. Someone you trusted let you down. You are hurting. And you are angry. At life. At people. Perhaps even at God.
But not only are you hurting, you are bitter. Part of you wants to cry, but the other part of you wants to fight back. Part of you wants to get over it, but the other part wants to get even. It is no wonder then that the writer of Hebrews penned, "Looking diligently...lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." (Hebrews 12:15).
It seems strange, when you think about it, that Jesus said He came to set at liberty them that are bruised. People who are bruised need healing. But freedom? Could it be because many people who have been bruised and broken in heart have become bitter, their minds consumed with anger, trapped in a desire for revenge? This is why Jesus taught, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44).
You see, the act of forgiveness is probably more important to the one forgiving, than to the one needing forgiveness. With forgiveness comes freedom. Without forgiveness, bitterness is all that is left.
Through God's grace you have been forgiven. If you are at odds with a family member, co-worker, or friend, today is the day to extend your hand of love and grace towards them, regardless of who is right or wrong.
Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free only to realize you were the prisoner. -Max Lucado