This is the season of love. We celebrate Jesus being born and God coming to us- Emmanuel. The Bible tells us ‘the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.’ John 1.14. Thankfully, He stills dwells among us.
What does it mean for Him to dwell with us? He is with us to teach us, guide us, help us, and many other things. One of the most important things is to love us. The Bible wonderfully tells us in Ephesians 3. “…may God grant you… to be rooted and grounded in the amazing and endless love of God and able to comprehend … the width and depth and height, and length of this love. .. ” WOW! What a prayer for each and every one of us. To be loved. I am convinced that each and every person I know just wants to feel loved.
One of the great attributes of love is forgiveness. We all know the Lord’s prayer- forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Sometimes the chains that bind us to addiction, depression, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, and other struggles, do so because the difficulty is rooted in unforgiveness. It does not mean that what the person who hurt us did is suddenly a justifiable thing. Some hurts and offensives truly do seem unforgivable. I can think of stories I have heard of severe hurts in this lifetime that never should have happened. Most of us can identify with this. But, our emotional and mental health depend on forgiving the ones- even the unforgivable. Everyone has a free will and some choose to do bad deeds instead of good deeds. This is our fallen world.
Not to be too preachy (probably too late for that) – is the parable Jesus told in Luke 7.41-49. He said there was a man who owed millions of dollars. He could not pay and begged for relief from his debt. His debt was forgiven. But then, he was owed a few dollars and took the man who owed him by the neck and demanded to be paid – he refused to forgive the little he was owed. When the original man who was owed millions of dollars heard of the forgiven man’s behavior, he was angry and asked him why he did not forgive the little he was owed when he was forgiven an enormous debt? This parable applies to us. We have been forgiven a debt we are unable to pay. So it is with us, we cannot be free unless we forgive. It is not for the benefit of the one who needs forgiving, but the one choosing to forgive.
I encourage you to make a list of the debts owed to you, thank the Baby Born in Bethlehem for forgiving you, forgive the one who owed you, nail that debt to the Cross, and be free. This is not meant to be trivial. It takes much determination to forgive and the hurts can be very real and very big to us, but it is the Light that takes us out of pain into the freedom that God intends for all of us to enjoy.
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