Forgiveness liberates: Give, receive and accept it

The power of forgivenessThis post was prompted by a discussion in LinkedIn‘s Spiritual Writer’s Association group.

I agree with Kendra. The discussion has veered away from the original blog which stated: “Because if you are holding onto unforgiveness your Father in heaven will not forgive you also”. I agree too that this is not biblical, from – if you like – God’s perspective. Thoughts of God not forgiving are prompted by Jesus’ remarks, when he taught his disciples how to pray. He said, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

I look at forgiveness as having two sides. It is one thing to ask for forgiveness and quite another, to receive forgiveness. The two however, belong together.

In a worship service, for example, we begin with confession of sins where we ask for forgiveness. God does forgive us, but we – from the standpoint of humans – are reassured when the priest, pastor or minister pronounces the words of forgiveness. Such pronouncement helps us accept and receive forgiveness which comes from God, to be sure, and – I believe – it is complete.

Nevertheless, if I have, in my heart, someone against whom I am holding a grudge, it will be hard for me to accept forgiveness. As a result, I will continue to carry a burden even though God has forgiven me. That is why forgiving others is so important for our own freedom.

Forgiving others liberates, not forgiving enslaves. This is a spiritual fact which we control.

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