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Next Steps

The following is a devotion from my message series 10 Steps to Freedom. I hope these devotionals help you experience lasting freedom in Jesus!

STEP FIVE: day 2

Release your hurt through forgiveness

In Matthew 6 Jesus gives the famous Lord’s Prayer which starts with “Our Father in heaven.” When he finishes a few verses later he chooses only one part of the prayer to explain further, perhaps it’s because it’s the one part of the prayer he knew we would struggle with the most. It’s the part about forgiveness.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors . . . For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 6:12, 14-15

Verse 12 literally reads in the original language “forgive us our debts in proportion to the forgiveness we show our debtors.” So if we come to God with unforgiveness in our hearts, hurts that we refuse to move past, then when we pray we are essentially asking God not to forgive us, because we have refused to forgive others. Jesus doesn’t teach this because he’s trying to hold us hostage to forgiveness, but because he knows how it is actually unforgiveness that holds us hostage. God’s not trying to manipulate us, He’s trying to motivate us. God knows that unforgiveness imprisons the unforgiver much more than it imprisons the unforgiven. Jesus wants us to forgive others because he wants us to be free from the pain, bitterness, rage and anger that come from unforgiveness. You can’t be free until you are able to forgive others for the hurt they have caused you, and until you are able to forgive yourself.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

1. If your forgiveness from God is directly tied to your forgiveness of others, how much forgiveness are you experiencing from God right now? How much unforgiven hurt is currently weighing you down?

2. Read Colossians 3:13. Forgiveness is never easy, but it is absolutely necessary. What is the biggest reason holding you back from truly forgiving others in your life?

 

You can read other devotional entries for 10 Steps to Freedom here.

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