I have had the great privilege for the past seven months to lead a mens’ Bible study group for those who have felt some serious pain and wounds in their lives. We have been using a curriculum developed by Cindy Sherwood, from Colorado Springs. She developed the curriculum for women, but now it is being used very successfully with men as well. Her curriculum is titled “The Healing Journey” and her ministry is called “His Healing Light Ministries.”
Recently, we discussed the topic regarding the issue of “unforgiveness.” It may seem like a rather harmless concept, but in reality it is like a cancer eating away at us. If we are unwilling to forgive others, we may soon be trapped in another of Satan’s snares called “anger and bitterness.” If you are caught in this snare then you will likely be miserable, depressed, and lacking peace and joy in your life. That is just where Satan would like you to be. Do you want to be free from this trap?
In Luke 6:37-38 we find what Jesus says about forgiveness and judging others: He says “…condemn not and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: …For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you.” If we refuse to forgive and hold anger and bitterness toward those who have hurt or offended us, then our heavenly Father will not be able to forgive us. Do you think you have ever hurt or offended your heavenly Father? Are you expecting Him to forgive you? If we expect to be forgiven by Him, then we need to forgive those who have offended us.
Remember that “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. We like that verse and the thought that Jesus loved us and died for us even before we asked Him for forgiveness is amazing. However, for some reason we don’t employ that same line of thinking many times toward those who have offended us. The problem is that that the unforgiveness eventually turns to bitterness. If you are ready to make the move to be free from the pain and anguish you carry because of your anger and bitterness toward someone, your first step must be to ask God to forgive you for the sin of unforgiveness toward others. Secondly, even if only privately by yourself, forgive those who have offended you. The best senario of all is to go to the one who has offended you and explain that you have been offended at some time by them and ask for their forgiveness for your anger and bitterness directed toward them. They may not apologize, but you will have done your part to release yourself from the Satan’s snare.
Give God the praise for releasing you from the trap. You may find that the other person didn’t even know you were offended or they may still act offensively toward you. The important thing is that you have followed Christ in forgiving as He has forgiven you and you can now enjoy the peace and freedom from knowing that is true.