#834 – Freedom

Good morning people who forgive and are forgiven

(By Graeme Cann)

Today we are going to focus on the third freedom that we have through God’s forgiveness: The Freedom from Resentment and Bitterness.

When we have been hurt deeply by another we almost always are left with feelings like anger, rage, fear, guilt or grief. If we do not resolve these quickly they turn into bitterness and resentment.

When we live with feelings of bitterness and resentment three things happen to us.

The first is that we lose our joy and peace. Remember the story Jesus told of the man who was forgiven a great debt and was full of joy but when he could not forgive his fellow servant a small debt he lost his joy and his freedom.(Matthew 18: 21-35).

Secondly, we give the perpetrator (the person responsible for doing the wrong) power over everything we think and feel.

Thirdly, these painful feelings produce destructive behaviours.

In Ephesians 4 Paul urges us to take responsibility for our feelings and behaviour and realise that we are the only one who can do anything about them. He says:

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

The question is how on earth can we do this when we have been so deeply and unjustly hurt? Paul answers this in the next verse.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender hearted, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER EVEN AS GOD IN CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN YOU.

True freedom from resentment and forgiveness comes when we forgive others as God has forgiven us.

Further Reading: Ephesians 4:25-32

(Today’s BIY written by Graeme Cann)