I recently completed a bible study and we used “Choosing Forgiveness” by Nancy DeMoss as the guide. Throughout the three-month study, I was reminded how pockets of bitterness can take hold and thrust me into a backslide to an unforgiving heart. Here are a few takeaways from her book that helped me grow as a Christian:
1)The more we hold on to bitterness, blame and anger, the more we become slaves to unforgiveness.
2)Forgiveness is a deliberate decision to deal with another’s sin and when you do so, you wipe the slate clean. It’s permanent!
3)Sometimes we say we have forgiven the person. However, if you find yourself continually bringing up the the way someone has sinned against you, you have not truly forgiven the person.
4)It will never be in your power, in the depth of your love, in the ANYTHING of you that allows you to forgive. It is only through love of Jesus Christ placed into your believer’s heart that can enable you to forgive the offender.
5)”I’m going to making him/her pay!!” Isn’t that what our response is as humans? We take justice into our hands and spend our lifetimes thinking of how we will revenge the wrongdoer because we think they got off scot-free. However, we must trust God’s process and believe that justice will still be served if we forgive the person. It is not up to us to administer justice to the person who hurts us. God is the ONLY ONE who rights all wrongs. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Basically, God is saying to us, “You don’t have be the keeper of the keys and hold that person in prison. Justice is my job so give the keys to me and let me to do the job!” God is the most righteous of judges and we can trust Him…..meaning He’s going to do a heck of a lot better job. 🙂
6) Satan will tell you over and over not to forgive the person. What are the lies that the devil tells you to prompt you not to forgive? Often, I have thought and have wanted to scream out loud, “He doesn’t deserve it!!!” But then, I have to ask myself, “Did I deserve for Jesus to hang on the cross for me?”
7)By God’s grace, forgiveness doesn’t have to take a long time. It can be done in a moment of time. It allow healing to begin, restoration to take place so that we don’t have to live in a prison of bitterness, sorrow, sadness, anger and blame.