I still remember driving to get my taxes done a few years back after dealing with some really hard times at work. Hard times meaning lied to, cheated, manipulated, mistreated, … which built up resentment, bitterness, anger, frustration. I still remember how ever night after work the songs on the radio (Spirit 105.3) spoke right into the events of the day. Even so I allowed the bitterness to build due to unforgiveness. As I drove to get my taxes, asking God for help and wisdom, as usual I had the radio on and this time the song 7×70 came on the radio. As I was listening I realized there were people that I needed to forgive. I realized that holding onto the resentment, bitterness, anger, and frustration wasn’t helping me and had no impact on them. I remember hearing holding onto them is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. It just doesn’t work that way. During that drive I went through my list and forgave everyone. I also realized that I needed to go and ask for forgiveness myself from a friend and old boss. As I was completing my talk with God about forgiving others, His Word came to me “as you forgive others, so I will forgive you“. So I remember the tears during this drive. I ask God to forgive me for holding onto the bitterness, for allowing a foothold into my life that was taking me down a road of misery and pain. As I reach the off ramp, it was all gone. The weight that had been on my shoulders for so long was gone. God took it all away. I remember when I went into the office on Monday I was changed, I was transformed. The environment didn’t change, the people didn’t change, the situations didn’t change, however, God had changed my heart. I learned something that I was able to share with others who were feeling down, feeling mistreated, feeling taken advantage of, feeling depressed, feeling angry, feeling resentful, feeling frustrated. I learned that the key to freedom was through forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t about what it does for them, but what it frees up in you. I ended up going and speaking with that old boss and friend and asked them for forgiveness, they didn’t think I had done anything or needed it, but they put it this way “so that we can move on, I forgive you”.
Jesus gave it all, all to Him I owe, He gave His life so that I could be forgiven before God! True freedom from sin. True freedom from spending eternity apart from God.
But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Biblical Truth: When we ask forgiveness from someone we have offended, do not place them in such high a position that we are afraid of their disapproval, make peace with God and you will find it easier to make peace with man.
Is there something in your life that needs to be released? Is there something that is undone that you need to do? Is there something you are facing that needs you to give it up to God? Is there something that you could be doing by giving others a hand up? Where are you at? Do you need a hand up? Today is a new day. We get to choose what we will do, whom we will serve, whom shall we lift up, whom shall we ask…
Life is filled with choices, how will you choose?
If we truly love Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by him. Those who are dear to him will be dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord’s flock–remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart–recollecting that all we do for his people is graciously accepted by Christ as done to himself.