'Tis the Season to Forgive

The Key that Unlocks the Heavy Door

“Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”—Matthew 6:12 (NLT)

Following his famous Christmas tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Charles Dickens wrote a small novella titled The Haunted Man in which the main character, like Scrooge, needs a change of heart. Professor Redlaw’s life was being destroyed by bitterness and anger and his inability to forgive and “forget the sorrow, wrong, and trouble you have known…”

We do many things to celebrate this season, and I pray one of them is to allow yourself forgiveness.

Jesus taught us to pray, and ask for forgiveness for our sins “as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”

He knew it had to be both. Be forgiven and forgive.

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful weapons we are given to set us free.

Our sins are like debts that put us in prison. The key to deliverance is forgiveness—for ourselves, and toward others.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul pleaded with the people:

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”—Ephesians 4:31-32

Ask God to give you a spirit of forgiveness.

Forgive those who have hurt you. Give grace to those who don’t know the pain they inflicted.

Forgive others—parents, your kids, friends, siblings—for their humanity.

We are all in need of forgiveness. Open that channel of love and forgiveness between you and those who have grieved you and most importantly, the Lord.

A lack of forgiveness locks our hearts in a prison, separated from God and others. We become like Dickens’ Haunted Man.

Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the heavy door, opens the prison, and empowers us to walk away from bitterness and anger.

Forgiveness is the gift of freedom.

What a wonderful Christmas gift that would be!

 

 

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley