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Forgive, Release And Move On!
by Steve Countryman
8/03/2011 / Christian Living
I am amazed how many people I run in to that always have some "soap opera" drama going on in their lives. It doesn't seem to matter if I see them everyday or once in a blue moon. There is one thing that they all have in common; it is never their fault! Their troubles, problems, sorrows and woes are always someone else's fault. They never take responsibility for their own condition, mistakes and bad choices or decisions. They hold on to their past or should I say they let their past hold on to them. Their past is dictating their future. They are always talking about their problems and their past so they are stuck in their past. Because of their situation they never learn from their mistakes and because of it they miss out on the blessings that God has for them. Not forgiving and releasing others will destroy you physically, spiritually and mentally. It is the root of bitterness and it will hinder your prayers. The sad thing is that they do not limit the blame for their problems to just close friends, school, job, family and enemies but they blame God too.
Jesus was our example while He was here on earth. I recently watched The Passion again and was so angry at how Jesus was treated from the scourging He received to the crucifixion. Not only did Jesus endure the pain and suffering but also the insults, being spit at, having rocks and trash thrown at Him, scorned, ridiculed and being treated like a common criminal. Watching the roman guards nail His hands and feet without Jesus uttering any curses, profanity or insulting name-calling. I wanted to start smacking some of those guards around just by watching it. I know that if that had been anyone of us on the cross the words would have been flying out of our mouths. Instead Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." That is when it became obvious to me that Jesus couldn't hold any malice, anger, hatred or offense against the roman guards, the crowds that shouted insults at Him or the religious leaders. Jesus trusted the Father to handle the vengeance and vindication. Jesus died for all of mankind's sins including those roman soldiers that abused Him. What a powerful love! Jesus came to save humanity and had to endure the worst kind of inhumane treatment that anyone could to accomplish His task and fulfill the prophecies.
When you hold on to a grudge or offense and you do not forgive and release another person you are allowing that offense to "stick" to you. By doing so you carry it with you and it becomes part of your life. It can cost you your salvation. You elevate yourself higher than God when you don't forgive others. As if you are saying that it is ok for God to forgive you your sins but you won't forgive others their sins against you! Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Jesus is the example of how to pray for our enemies and forgive and release them. To release someone is to let go of the offense they committed against you, your friends or your family. When you forgive and release someone you are deciding NOT to be offended or hold any grudges or hatred against them for what they did. Doing so is not condoning their behavior nor does it show a weakness on your part. Just the contrary, it takes great strength, courage, compassion and love to forgive and release someone.
One important lesson to learn is that in all things we are to give thanks to God! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amplified Bible), 18Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. Giving thanks to God is not an easy thing to do when you are in the middle of a storm but it is part of why you are there. In times of troubles, problems, trials and tribulations we must give God thanks that we can learn from our mistakes so that we don't have to keep repeating them. By giving thanks to God you help keep yourself from being offended and holding on to grudges against anyone. Forgive, release and move on. This is how you mature and move on in Christ!
In the good times most Christians are too busy patting themselves on the back for their accomplishments and successes while ignoring the fact that all of the glory and thanks should go to God. Their pride gets in the way of giving God the credit and the thanks for the blessings and favor that they receive. "All good and perfect things comes from God". Because God's love for you is so great, He blesses you in spite of you. An attitude of gratitude all the time is what God expects from His children who represent His kingdom here on earth. When you hear Christians whine and complain it becomes hard to tell them from the rest of the world. Take responsibility for your own mistakes and bad decisions. Jesus through the Holy Spirit will help you to be able to forgive and release those who have mistreated you. Thank the Lord for all things both good and bad. By doing these things you will be able to move on in Christ set free from your past and grow in the Lord. We are God's representative here on earth, it is important that we all do it right for His kingdom. Are you ready?!?
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