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A sincere and honest friend one time said she had received healing for “arthritic” hurts in her hands.  She said it happened as a result of her forgiving someone.  She gave no details.  But the point was that her forgiving had set her free.

  I’d like to make a couple more points about forgiveness.

Lewis B. Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” This theme is highly promoted these days on placards, from the pulpit, by counselors, about everywhere. Sounds so good. But I’m thinking we should forgive because Jesus said to do so. Bible says, “…forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:32). Did Jesus forgive me to set HIMSELF free? No, he forgave me to set ME free! Smedes quote puts the cart before the horse. The freedom of the forgiver is a result; it should not be the motivation.

And my next point regards those who have had very egregious things for which they have offered forgiveness.  I have seen people on TV who give witness to having forgiven in situations that boggle the brain.  How to forgive one who murders your daughter?  How to forgive a relative who has just cheated you out of your inheritance?  How to forgive a Holocaust guard who tortured you (as Corrie Ten Boom did)?  The Bible says to forgive as God forgives us.  His power/grace/love can make it happen. 

There should not be an end to our grace to forgive.    When Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven times, he might have been saying to forgive THE SAME INCIDENT 490 times. That is so true. Some things you have to just say “I forgive __ regarding that.” Next time it comes to mind, say the same thing. Next time, the same. Few if any incidents can you willingly forgive 490 and have it still hound you! Personally, I believe the Holy Spirit will help you long before 49 times let alone 490!

I believe I read a blog the other day which said that unforgiveness will keep the victim in bondage to that person who did them wrong. l’m sorry I’ve forgotten who planted that seed in my head/spirit. I think of people who might not even go to a certain place anymore in case they accidentally meet their foe. In that case the wrongdoer is controlling the victim’s actions.

Matthew 6:14 & 15; ‘If you forgive people their trespasses and let them go, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you’  – I have no explanation for all this verse.  I know Christian people who seem to have unforgiveness even to their death, still I believe they went to Heaven.  So I do not see this as an “unpardonable” sin even unto death, but I do recognize their must be some bitter consequences for unforgiveness.  Bitterness of heart, brokenness of spirit, and resulting ill health are almost surely results of unforgiveness.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. You raise an interesting – and I would say important – point when you say: “I’m thinking we should forgive because Jesus said to do so. Bible says, “…forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:32). Did Jesus forgive me to set HIMSELF free? No, he forgave me to set ME free! Smedes quote puts the cart before the horse. The freedom of the forgiver is a result; it should not be the motivation.”
    We DO repeatedly hear that we should forgive for ourselves, and i wonder if it’s hard to experience true freedom when this (freedom for ourselves) is our motivation.

  2. Salvageable says:

    It’s tempting to make forgiveness a rule, part of God’s Law, a good work by which we earn his grace. But grace is unearned! God always goes first! His forgiveness changes us, making us able to forgive. In fact, if I forgive, I’m merely letting the forgiveness of Christ pass through me to another sinner. I didn’t pay that sinner’s debt–Jesus did! If I refuse to share forgiveness, I am blocking the work of Jesus. But when I share forgiveness, Jesus is doing the work. J.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Yes, true forgiveness you can give does come from the forgiveness we receive from Christ. I believe I have to act on it. It is probably brought about as the fruits of the Spirit develop in us. You might want to comment on that. I am interested in what you think.

  3. nickc324 says:

    It cam be difficult, but I need to do this more in my life. Thanks for this reminder.

  4. Faye says:

    I passionately believe that unbelief can totally cripple the soul. In that black place it is very hard but (NOT IMPOSSIBLE) for God’s Light to shine. I certainly would not want to face a thrice HOLY God at the end of my days with a soul crippled and blackened . We all have a choice. Do I want my heart, soul and spirit to be ‘free’ in this life to rejoice in HIM? Free GRACE……King David discovered. What about desiring that even for the ones who have spitefully used us?. The man whose wife and three children were gunned down in the Port Arthur Massacre (Tasmania).recently wrote. In my years of grief hatred, desire for revenge God’s Grace and Love sustained me. I reached a place where God gave me a vision of the killer in jail and said to me “Can you pray that he will find my Grace? I began to pray and now six years after I began I now have a free heart and life to worship my Saviour again.in the FULLNESS of WHO HE IS.

  5. John Abato says:

    I agree. The only sin that can keep you out of Heaven is unbelief.

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