Lewis B. Smeades said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” How exactly does unforgiveness make someone a prisoner? We’ve been learning about forgiveness in our two-day Loving Your Neighbour class and our week in Sin, the Cross and Repentance.
Forgiveness means to untie, to release the debt that someone has because of wrongdoing he or she did against you. Forgiveness is more for the one who forgives rather than the one who is forgiven. It doesn’t mean that you’re saying that what the person did was right or that forgiveness is immediate, rather, it’s an ongoing and sometimes very difficult process. In short, it is letting go of the pain in your life and letting love fill that space instead.
The hurt that people cause us in the past not only can remain in our lives without forgiveness but it grows into something much more worse. Holding onto that pain can make a person very bitter, resentful, depressed and more, including physical changes, forming a prisoner of past injustices.
Colossians 3:13 says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Forgiveness is a command and a blessing, being in this family of people will bring occasional conflict but if we practice forgiveness daily then we can find unity with each other in love.