I need to get honest.
For what seemed like forever, each morning I woke up pissed off.
My first thoughts went straight to specific people who had wronged me. And for whatever reason, during this bitter season of my life, the list just kept growing.
Morning after morning, my first thoughts would be of the person who let me down repeatedly. The gossiper who just couldn’t keep my name out of his mouth. The person who I trusted was honorable, but turned out not to be.
Every day for a LONG time these types of people consumed my first thoughts of the day.
I was angry, on the brink of building some hefty resentments and trapped in the land of un-forgiveness! This emotional state was destroying me and stifling any positive relationships I had in my life. And you know what? I was right where the enemy wanted me. Stuck living in the land of un-forgiveness. Bitter. Angry. Resentful.
Let me just be blunt with you. There is never any fruit produced when you live in the land of un-forgiveness. You can’t lead well. You can’t “husband” well. You can’t parent well.
A lack of forgiveness is like a root that grows into each area of your life, suffocating all it touches. It’s like a poison that you don’t even realize you’ve drank until it’s too late.
Lucky for me (and lucky for you if you choose to apply this), I got a wake-up call. It came in the form of a random speaker at a church where I was telling my story. Funny how that works huh?! Before I spoke, this gentleman came on-stage to share a bit about his story. He spoke about how his father cheated on his mom while they were growing up, how his dad came out as a homosexual when he was in high school and then to top it off disappeared from his life for the past 10 years.
He went on to describe how long he lived in the land of un-forgiveness and where it took him. Not surprisingly he turned to substances and his life suffered for years. In describing his turnaround he said something I’ll never forget. He said, “I finally had to realize that if I wanted a life of FREEDOM I would have to live a life of forgiveness.”
This simple statement shook me and changed me. In a moment’s notice, I realized what I had allowed to happen and just how far away from God’s purpose it had taken me.
Maybe today, this is the wake-up call you needed. Maybe in this moment you realize how you’ve been waking up angry, frustrated and generally un-grateful. Maybe you too are living in the land of un-forgiveness.
If so, may I be the voice today that helps to stir in your heart a longing to live free again?
Today, join me, take a step towards freedom and forgive those who have wronged you.
Forgiveness is the essence of a life of freedom.
And you know what? God created us to live free! But when sin entered the world, it created the land of un-forgiveness and surrounded it with deep valleys filled with emotions like anger, rage, resentment, bitterness and shame.
Thankfully God so loved us and so longed for us to live free again He sent us bridge. A bridge back to the land of freedom. And that bridge is Jesus.
We now have the ability to walk back to the land of freedom!
Jesus took our sin on his skin, SO THAT we could live free.
His forgiveness of YOU sets you free, but YOUR forgiveness of others allows you to STAY free.
I hope I never return to that nasty land of un-forgiveness. I know I am always just a few moments of weakness away. That’s why I do what I do each morning to help me stay in the land of FREEDOM.
You wanna know what it is? Check back in next week.
Forgive each other friends. It’s the best way to live.