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Forgiveness is Key

Forgiveness is the Key

It would be hard to forgive your Nazi captor.  The one who was the cause of death for your sister and of much pain and suffering.  Corrie Ten Boom write this..."I, who had spoken of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course—how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women? “But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze."

“And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking? “It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.  “For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’

“I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.

“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’

“And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. “ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’ “For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”

Luke 17:1-4
17 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin[a] are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!  2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

Forgiveness Shuts the Door to the Past

“We become the object of our affection, whether good or bad. The thing that you think on is the thing that you become.”  The enemy laughs when someone that has caused you pain is the only thing that you think of because know he can keep you wrapped up in unforgiveness. It’s why you see kids growing up saying I will never be like my father, or this uncle, or this person in my family and yet they end up doing the exact same things. The past gets repeated over and over again. The cycle of pain never breaks. No one is ever set free.  Forgiveness is the key. It shuts the door to the Past.

Forgiveness Opens the Door to the Future

Just because you have forgiven someone in your past doesn’t mean they get to move forward with you in your future. Forgiveness does not mean that you allow them to do the same thing to you over and over to you. You just forgive, you don’t have to forget.  Corrie Ten Boom said in her story that those that we able to forgive their former enemies were able to walk into their future and start lives for themselves and those that didn’t remained invalids, physically and emotionally.

You walk into your future.
It doesn’t have to be the same for you.
It doesn’t have to be the same for your family.
It doesn’t have to be the same for your kids.

So many people go from past to future just like a door. You walk back to the past and through unforgivenss begin to carry garbage into your future. Its all you can think about. It keeps you up at night. How they did you wrong. They were dirty to you. You can’t believe this happened to you as a kid.  When you forgive, you must cancel the debt. Do not spend your life paying and collecting debts. Hebrews 10:30 says that vengeance belongs to the Lord; He'll repay and settle the cases of His people. Let God pay you for past injustices. Do not try to collect from the people who hurt you, because the people who hurt you can't pay you.  Also, forgive yourself for past sins and hurts you have caused others. You can't pay people back, so ask God to.  Forgive God if you are angry with Him because your life didn't turn out the way you thought it should. God is always just. There may be things you don't understand, but God loves you, and people make a serious mistake when they don't receive help from the only One who can truly help them.

Have you been forgiven?
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"

Will you forgive?
An act of your will? Maybe you can’t on your own power but you can just say it and as you say it, God will help you mean it. You can look forward to your future because you can forgive those that hurt you in your past.