Everyone in this world has been wronged at some point of time. Now, the majority of people struggle with an emotional dungeon within. And the reason being is that many cannot release those who’ve wronged them from their emotional dungeon. But, I am telling you for your sake and for the sake of your mental health, the one who wronged you is not in that dungeon, no matter how much you believe it. The one in that dungeon is actually yourself and as long as you hold unforgiveness, you prolong your jail sentence. So, in this post, I’ll be discussing the joy of release which comes with forgiveness.
Forgiving Those Who Want Forgiveness
Luke 17:3-4 World English Bible (WEB)
3 Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
In this passage, Jesus clearly talks about someone who returns to you and asks you for forgiveness. And when Jesus mentions the number of seven, He uses it to point out something.
Genesis 2:2-3 World English Bible (WEB)
2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work of creation which he had done.
If there’s one thing about Jesus, it’s that God doesn’t do coincidences. Everything He says, has something deeper within it. And when Jesus says that if someone wrongs you seven times, you must forgive him/her of everything, He is using seven as an indicator of rest.
When God made all the world, He rested on the seventh day. So, when you forgive someone who’s asking you for forgiveness, you put yourself into a restful position in life. God wants you to forgive because when you forgive, you are releasing not that person, but yourself.
That’s why there’s such a unique joy of release upon the one who releases. When you release someone from their wrongs, you release yourself and you put yourself in a position to rest.
Forgiving Those Who Don’t Ask for Forgiveness
Now, you may be saying, “Hah hah, Andre, in the verse you gave above, Jesus said you must forgive if they come and repent before you, but He didn’t command us to forgive if they do not ask for forgiveness!”
That’s an interesting point to bring out but you must still remember the allegory of the dungeon. Whether the person you keep in your dungeon of unforgiveness asks to be released or not, that person is actually you! And the reason being is that when you hold unforgiveness, it hurts you.
Matthew 18:19-22 World English Bible (WEB)
19 Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the middle of them.”
21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.
In this verse, no one mentions anything about granting forgiveness only to those who ask for it. Jesus just raises the bar a bit higher by saying you must forgive a person even 490 times in one day!
And I believe by the grace of Holy Spirit, God did not attach a need for the wrongdoer to ask for forgiveness in the above verse.
So, the truth is that you are obligated to forgive others not for their sake, but, for your sake. God never designed you to hold a dungeon of unforgiveness within your heart, He designed you to be a forgiving person!
The Joy of Release
So, I plea to you to release everyone and anyone from your unforgiveness because you are not only releasing them, but you are also releasing yourself. If you remain in unforgiveness, only you will suffer, and God cannot make a testimony out of one who holds unforgiveness forever.
Ephesians 4:32 World English Bible (WEB)
32 And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.
To enjoy the joy of release, you must release the ones you find hard to forgive. You just have to make the decision to forgive, you don’t have to feel it, but you must decide it.
Paul was talking to the Church of Ephesians in the above verse and He said to forgive others as God forgave you. So, when you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour who died on the cross and rose again after three days for your salvation which I talk about more in this post, God has automatically enabled you to forgive others.
Forgiveness is a decision and when you decide to forgive, God loves it. You don’t need to fast or beg God or do anything extreme to forgive, you just need to let go. Because once you’ve let Jesus rule in your heart, He already enables you to forgive, you just need to act upon it.
Therefore, this day, choose to forgive everyone who has wronged you whether they’re sorry or not, and taste the joy of release that comes with it! Walk by trusting in Jesus and decide to forgive, do not walk by your feelings to hold unforgiveness.
2 Corinthians 5:7 World English Bible (WEB)
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
By Andre Wijesekera