Devotions from James Smith’s book, Embracing the Love of God

The only way we can be healed of the things that have hurt us is to forgive. When we forgive a person, we set a prisoner free, but we discover that the real prisoner was ourselves. The healing journey involves discovering how much we have been forgiven. When we have a clear sense of God’s forgiveness it will lead us to forgive one another. In Eph. 4:23 Paul says, “forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you.”  If we do not forgive another, we don’t understand how much we have been forgiven. The healing journey also involves releasing a debt that someone has not paid and may not ever pay.  In fact, the payment is inconsequential. When we forgive we release the debt and are saying we are wiping out the deficit.  Forgiveness accepts the offender as they are.  It requires no future reformation of their behavior or it would not be forgiveness.  There are no strings attached to forgiveness.  The final element of forgiveness is allowing God to use what has happened as a means of growth for us. It can help us be more sensitive and sympathetic with people who go through similar struggles. God doesn’t send evil, but he uses our suffering as a means of growth and can make something more beautiful in our lives as he did with Joseph. More tomorrow.