Peace is something that we have been given by Christ himself (““I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart…. John 14:27). It amazes me how often we forfeit our peace, voluntarily surrender it by holding on to unnecessary grudges. Unforgiveness works as a thief of peace by arresting your emotions to a point where you can’t move forward. The danger of refusing to “let go” is that as long as you’re holding on to offense, you’re bound by the emotions that stem from it, and as long as you’re bound… moving forward is not an option.
Someone once told John Wesley “I could never forgive that person” Wesley replied to them, “you’re burning the bridge between you and heaven.” Imagine a life of service, a life of church, and yet your connection with God is hindered because of a refusal to forgive. Yes! Unforgiveness is that powerful. Not only does it prohibit you from moving forward, but it severs the connection between you and the God that you serve. Jesus made this point crystal clear in Matthew 5 saying, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Forgive so that you can be forgiven!
One area of forgiveness that must be acknowledged is the fact that forgiveness may have to come without an apology. Waiting on an apology that may never materialize can have damaging effects. Release it, now. Why? Because requiring an apology prior to forgiveness gives the offender the power to control your peace. I have been hurt, misunderstood, and yes even betrayed, but at the end of the day, I CHOSE to let it go. Forgiveness is a choice, one that does not require an apology in order to be made. Resolving to move forward without the apology will prove to be beneficial for your peace of mind.
In the Bible we are introduced to a man named Joseph. Joseph, although referred to as a dreamer, was more so a man that was favored by God. In the text we discover that Joseph was hated by his brothers, hated to the point to where they plotted to kill him. They choose to sell him, and series of events occur between Genesis chapter 37 and chapter 50. Events that land Joseph in situations where he was a slave, a prisoner and an employee in the royal house. But one thing that never changed regardless of where he was, was the proven favor of God on his life. Genesis chapter 50 tells of how the same brothers who sold him out, needed him! What would you do? How would you handle this? The very people that sold you out…. ruined your life, actually need you. Joseph forgave! Genesis 50:20 is one of my favorite passages, it is here that Joseph declares to his brothers, “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.” Powerful! Joseph forgave because he realized that his purpose was so great that he could not afford to be bound by a grudge.
Let it go, you have purpose to chase… choose PEACE!