What Does Forgiveness Feel Like?
What emotions accompany forgiveness?
“Because you belong to Him [Christ Jesus], the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:2
Forgiveness is freeing. Through Jesus Christ, you have freedom from the power of sin and death in your life! This feeling of freedom can also be felt when you forgive others.
Freedom from sin is freedom from its guilt; this freedom is brought to us by God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. God “...is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins” (Ephesians 1:7). You can be confident God’s grace is working in your life: “if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9). When you are forgiven, you might experience joy and the feeling a great “burden” (Matthew 11:28) has been lifted.
Forgiveness of Others
The Apostle Paul reminded Christians, “...the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13). In our passage, God connects sin with death. To fully understand what that means, we have to realize all sin leads to death. Even the angry feelings we have when we’ve been hurt are destructive. It has been said that being unforgiving is “like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
You may have feelings of freedom and joy when you think about forgiving. Or you may feel like someone does not deserve your forgiveness. But think of it this way: forgiving someone who has wronged you allows you to move on with your life while trusting God’s justice. Free your mind to focus on loving God and living the life He wants for you.
If someone is taking unfair advantage of you, or even abusing you, please get help. Forgiving someone and protecting yourself are not opposites. In some cases, uncovering the truth, (and even allowing legal consequences to come to an abusive person), may be the most redemptive thing you can do for them, as well as for yourself.
The Freedom of Letting Go
God loves us and does not hold our sins against us. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). We do not need to “...hold a grudge against...” others (Mark 11:25). Love “...keeps no record of being wronged” (I Corinthians 13:5). Get freedom from God by accepting His forgiveness. Then, share it with others.
Pray this week:
Dear God, I confess my sin to You and trust that You will forgive me. Thank you for Your faithful forgiveness! Please help me to forgive, just as You have forgiven me. In Jesus’s Name, amen.
How do you need help experiencing God’s freedom in forgiveness?Ask for Forgiveness