One of Satan’s strategies in keeping us in bondage is unforgiveness. When the root of unforgiveness is planted in our hearts it gives the enemy a foothold to trap us in our pain and to steal our joy. God gave us the perfect example of what forgiveness looks like through His perfect and pure son, Jesus who died for our sins even before we could ever ask for His forgiveness.
I’ve gone through many hurts in the past. I’ve gone through the pain of betrayal, the pain of family turning their back on me, the pain of being physically abused. That pain turned into anger and led to many sleepless nights and anxiety. My biggest pain was finding out on the eve of my 21st birthday that my dad was having an affair with a woman who was my age. As we confronted this truth on the morning of my birthday, my dad had decided to leave me, my mom and my brother. This pain turned into anger and bitterness. As the oldest child, I took it upon myself to care for my family financially, to care for my mom and my younger brother. I was in the deep end of my pain and anger that all I had left in my heart for my dad was hate. When I let Jesus into my life, He wanted to take that pain away from me through forgiveness. The heaviness of that pain and hatred and everything ugly that came with it was lifted through forgiveness. I no longer needed to hear my father ask for forgiveness, I gave it freely just the way Jesus did for me. Along with the forgiveness in my heart, Jesus placed an urging for me to reach out to my dad and meet him exactly where he is at. To this day, my dad has never apologized but I can honestly say that there’s been so much healing that I never thought possible. God gave me the strength to forgive as well as the strength to reach out and build a relationship with my dad.
ACTION STEP: Today as you pray, ask God to examine your heart for areas of unforgiveness. Be still and acknowledge the hurt and pain. Ask God for strength to forgive and to love the way He does. If you are extra bold, reach out to the person who may have caused you pain and try to rebuild that relationship.
PRAYER: Father, we thank you for your mercy, forgiveness, and the greatness of your sacrifice through Jesus Christ! Father, search my heart for areas where unforgiveness might still be hiding. Bring your light into those areas God and help me to forgive freely. Father, less of me and more of You, especially in the area of forgiveness. Help me to release this unforgiveness over to you that I may walk in freedom and in intimacy with you.