The Power of Forgiveness

Duane Vander Klok

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Through Jesus something changed: He reconciled us to our Heavenly Father. Even in our sin, we were forgiven and restored as His children. And throughout the gospels Jesus instructs His followers to forgive. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus tells His disciples that we are to forgive not only seven times but seventy times seven. To forgive like Jesus, you need to be connected to Him!

Our example is in Jesus who, even as He was dying on the cross, forgave those who crucified Him. As you follow His model, He can help you work through the unforgiveness in your heart. Forgiveness does not minimize the wrong done to you, but instead it frees you from the burden and pain of it. The power of the gospel is forgiveness, healing, and restoration rather than the ongoing pain of unforgiveness. No matter how much you hope bitterness will hurt the other person, it will only hurt you; bitterness is a bomb that will affect those closest to you rather than a laser that you can point at a single person.

Now, keep in mind that you do not forgive with your feelings, you forgive by faith. Like love, forgiveness is a choice, and not a feeling. The devil will try to tempt you to live in bitterness, but know that it will keep you from enjoying the blessings that God has given you. As a believer, you have the authority to resist the temptations of the devil, and the Bible tells us that when you resist the devil, he will flee from you. Your victory over unforgiveness is in Jesus!