SCRIPTURE TEXT: “If you forgive others the wrongs, they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14 (GNB)

We don’t need to carry extra baggage on the journey to our destiny.

On a recent trip to Bethlehem, I discovered that it is no longer a place of peace and joy. Instead, it’s full of hurt, anger and bitterness. It’s become a hotbed of political strife.

Someone once said that nobody will get out of this life alive. Now that’s true and a bit ironic. I also believe that nobody will get through this life without making mistakes or being hurt by others.

That’s why we need to practice the secret of forgiveness. I’ve counseled thousands of people who lived with shame or bitterness. These two emotions can cripple you.

Have you ever struggled with guilt or anger? Do you know how to forgive yourself and others?

The first five years of my marriage were horrible, for both my wife and me. Denise and I were ill-prepared for marriage, children and a career.

We were even contemplating divorce. In desperation, we went for counseling, and we learned that a good relationship requires the daily process of forgiveness. Our therapist taught us there are three steps of forgiveness:

The act of forgiveness. It sounds like, “Jesus, I forgive my dad for…”

The process of forgiveness. You forgive again and again until you are healed.

You will eventually reach the state of forgiveness. The memory of the event will be there, but the emotional damage will be gone.

The Bible tells us, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26, NIV)

Also, Jesus said, “If you forgive others the wrongs, they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14, GNB)

Forgiveness doesn’t set other people free; it sets you free. Be free on this journey of life because YOU’RE a miracle!

PRAYER: “Dear God, please give me the strength and grace to forgive others when they hurt me.” Amen.


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