Today’s Truth

There is no God like you. You forgive those who are guilty of sin; you don’t look at the sins of your people who are left alive. You will not stay angry forever, because you enjoy being kind. You will have mercy on us again; you will conquer our sins. You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the sea (Micah 7:18-19 NCV).

Friend to Friend

Sometimes the hardest thing to say is “I’m sorry” or to admit it when we have hurt someone! The only thing that can be harder is to forgive those who have hurt us!

We cannot really forgive until we have really been forgiven. Forgiveness was born on a cross where Jesus Christ loved us enough to die for our sin.

“But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NCV).

He didn’t wait until we shaped up or got cleaned up. He didn’t wait until we asked for forgiveness or even knew that we needed forgiveness. God is serious about forgiveness. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:23 (NLT).

“So, if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then, come and offer your sacrifice to God.”

God is saying that it doesn’t matter how much we do. If we have not forgiven someone or if we know someone has not forgiven us, we should drop everything, put life on hold, and get it right.

A little boy and his mom went shopping at the mall. The little boy acted very badly, whining, wanting everything he saw, and running away from his mother.

Driving home, he could tell his mom was very angry. He looked over at her and said, “When we are bad and we ask God to forgive us, He does, doesn’t He?” His mom glanced at him and replied, “Yes, He does.” “And when He forgives us He buries our sins in the deepest sea, doesn’t he?” The mom answered, “Yes, that is what the Bible teaches.” The little boy sat in silence for a while, and then he said, “I’ve asked God to forgive me. But I bet you’re going to go fishing for those sins, aren’t you?”

“There is no God like you. You forgive those who are guilty of sin; you don’t look at the sins of your people who are left alive. You will not stay angry forever, because you enjoy being kind. You will have mercy on us again; you will conquer our sins. You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19 NCV).

Part of true forgiveness is releasing the hurt, letting go of the pain. When we don’t, it becomes a constant spiritual and emotional drain. To experience the power of forgiveness, we have to quit fishing in the emotional waters of our past.

I love superglue and use it for just about everything. One day, I was trying to repair a miniature tea set, reached for my trusty superglue, and went to work. I glued the broken saucer and held it in place for 30 seconds, only to discover that I had glued my finger to the saucer. After several painful minutes of struggling to work my finger loose, I was free.

True forgiveness works the same way. When we refuse to release people from the hurt they have caused us, we are gluing them to their mistakes.

Nowhere does God say we have to feel like forgiving. He just commands us to forgive. Our feelings are irrelevant. Our obedience is what matters.

When we refuse to forgive, we not only harm ourselves, but we become a hindrance to God working in their lives as well.

“Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise, he may become so bitter and discouraged that he won’t be able to recover” (2 Corinthians 2:7 TLB).

Anytime we impede the work of God we are in a dangerous position. It’s time to let go of the hurt. It’s time to forgive.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am so tired of holding on to the pain in my life. Today, I lay down my pride and my rights. I will not seek revenge or retaliation. Instead, I choose to love my enemies and bless those who have harmed me. Please give me the strength and power to honor You as I step out in obedience.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Is there someone you need to forgive? Or is there someone whose forgiveness you need?

More from the Girlfriends

Need help getting into God’s Word each day? Check out Mary’s new devotion book, Life is So Daily.

Need prayer? Our prayer team would love to pray for you. Just email your request to Ginger Meador.

© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

3 Responses to “Let Your Prisoners Go!”

  1. Debbie says:

    Mary, I look forward to your posts. Today’s did not disappoint! Like a lot of Folks I have been going through a season of anxiety, today’s message was a moment of clarity for my current emotional state. I have a rebellious spirit, always have. I believe this rebellion is a hindrance for the growth in my relationship with A loving God who has sacrificed his one and only son so that I can be forgiven for my sins!

    Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do in my opinion. I think the hard part of forgiveness is feeling that I will be vulnerable, and weak. This morning I am viewing forgiveness through a different lens. Forgiveness is a tangible means to honor God, and provide freedom, tearing down the walls of resistance and rebellion I have built in my life.

    I choose this morning to seek the holy spirits presence, open the eyes of my heart and seek forgiveness. God speaks in mighty ways through different means, this morning his voice through your message is a blessing for my life. Blessings to you…Debbie

  2. Debbie, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. They mean so much to me.

    Your comment is my prayer today. Wonderful words of wisdom, my friend. I am rebellious and find forgiveness hard. But I join you in asking the Father to empower my choice to forgive.

    Blessings!

  3. Carol says:

    Thank you, Mary…and for that matter, Debbie!
    Forgiveness. Why is it so hard for us as God’s creation to say, “Father, forgive me, please!”
    And Mary, your statement about releasing people from the hurt they have caused, is like “gluing them to their mistakes”; has made a huge impact for me. Yes, I’ve done that one!
    So, my take -away is God wants us to break down that stubborn will, so He can work on our broken heart and spirit.
    Bless you, both for your insight and inspiration.

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8