In their inspiring book “Forgiving Forward: Unleashing the Forgiveness Revolution”, Bruce and Toni Hebel remind us that the blood of Jesus cleanses all sin, including the ones committed against us.
Forgiveness is a tough subject. We have all been hurt or wronged by others. Yep, every last one of us! So if forgiveness is a universal issue, why aren’t we better at it?
We all know someone who is stuck in the muck and mire of unforgiveness. I am convinced that nothing makes us more miserable! Unforgiveness gnaws at us like a hungry wolf. Sometimes it feels like we are actually bleeding internally from the bitterness of unhealed wounds.
Bottom line…when we refuse to forgive someone, it eats us alive!
Bruce Hebel spoke on forgiveness at my church, Fellowship Dallas a few weeks ago. For illustration, he used the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35.
In short, a king forgave his servant a huge debt after his servant begged him for mercy. Then the same servant refused to forgive a small debt owed to him by one of his co-workers and had him thrown into prison. The forgiven servant’s other co-workers ratted him out to the king. Needless to say, the typically merciful king was not happy and had the servant sent to prison and tortured.
We have all been forgiven so much!! And yet, we feel justified withholding forgiveness when someone hurts us.
Jesus, our merciful King, knows we are all sinful creatures and yet He forgives us freely. No begging necessary. No prison. No torture. Nothing. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we immediately receive his amazing gift of unmerited forgiveness and grace.
BOOM! Just like that.
But here we are all high and mighty, feeling totally justified in our unwillingness to forgive someone who has hurt us.
“Unforgiveness is a sign that we have devalued God’s forgiveness of us.”
~ Bruce & Toni Hebel
We all know – through personal experience – that the payoff for withholding forgiveness is absolute torture! When we don’t forgive others, we find ourselves imprisoned in a living hell.
We know how it feels. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. If you’re still imprisoned and tortured by an old wound, why not start the process of forgiving today?
Don’t do it for the person who has wronged you, do it for you. And do it for Christ!
The super huge payoff is F R E E D O M!!