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The Freedom of Forgiveness

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.If it weren’t for the cuts and gashes across my sister’s face, the slight bruising already evident on her olive skin, I could have believed she was only asleep, not dead.

Her eyes were closed, her body still, not yet cold and untouchable. Holding her swollen hand in mine under the operating room light, torrents of sadness washed over me like waves roaring over my soul, flooding me with regret for my previous unforgiveness toward her.

The longing to hear her voice again tormented me—a desire I knew could never be. I’d never made things right. In this place of darkness, I told her many things, although much too late.

This Scripture tells me I’m forgiven, but I am also called to forgive. Had I forgotten? Forgiveness provides release, offering greater connection to the Father. Such surrender allows the Holy Spirit to impart compassion and kindness through me to another needy soul. An act I’m not fully capable of without His indwelling.

Boundaries never act as fortress walls. Anger should not impart punishing silence, secretly hoping to vindicate a wrong. Christians must walk in the power of the Spirit, not carnal flesh, trusting that God has our back. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, condoning wrongful behavior, or reconciliation. It is the gift of letting go of resentment and a desire for vengeance. Forgiveness is a powerful gift none of us deserve yet one God freely grants.

Burdened by guilt and self-abasement, I could have easily turned inward, losing sight of what inside me must change…what I must learn. God doesn’t promise us tomorrow. People need each other. Life is a vapor, a steady blowing wind no one can hold.

Everyone experiences brokenness in some way, but God calls us to love, forgive, and bind up the brokenhearted, allowing Christ to set the captives free.

If hurt and unforgiveness have separated you from peace and a deeper connection to the Lord, trust His Spirit inside your heart. Allow the release only forgiveness can bring. You will set your soul free.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


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Lori Helms

Lori C. Helms is a licensed mental health counselor and runs a private practice in Sebring, Florida. She is also a writer and blogger and has previously published poetry and non-fiction articles under the pen name, Carol Lorin. She enjoys writing women’s fiction, blogging, and walking alongside others. She is currently editing her novel. You can connect with Lori on her Facebook author page, LC Helms Author, or on her website, lorichelms.com.