forgiveness

Day 7: Forgiveness Brings Life

7 October 2021

3 MINS

Intention

To inspire forgiveness and healing in marriage

Scripture

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. Luke 11:4

Reflection

As Christians, we know that Jesus commands us to forgive, not just once, but “seventy times seven”! (Mt 18:22) Elsewhere he commands us to… “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. (Mt 5:44)

Forgiveness is not presented to us as an option by Jesus; it’s not a suggestion, it’s a command.

Why?

Because forgiveness is central to our ability to be in a relationship with him. It is central to our spiritual growth and foundational to our psychological health.

Jesus doesn’t command us to forgive because it makes him feel better. He does it because he knows that a lack of forgiveness is perhaps the single most destructive force in terms of our ability to receive his love and be in a relationship with others.

A lack of forgiveness is toxic to our soul and our health, keeping us trapped in pain. Once we forgive, healing becomes possible and, in many cases, spontaneous.

Without it, the wound remains, even though it may be buried deep where we rarely think about it consciously.

And it continues to impact us by making us overly sensitive, cautious and cynical. When we’re emotionally injured, it’s natural to withdraw from the person who hurt us, but we also tend to be guarded with others too. We approach all our relationships with wariness.

In marriage, forgiveness is essential.

Many people resist forgiveness in fear of being hurt again but failing to forgive doesn’t protect us from further hurt. In fact, it primes us for it.

 

For example, when we are hurt because our spouse has ignored us, resentment keeps us in a heightened defence mode – we are primed and alert expecting to be ignored again.

Everything our spouse does is viewed through the lens of this expectation and soon, even minor infractions, become evidence of a systematic pattern of being ignored.

Someone asked us recently if there was ever a situation when not forgiving would be better or okay. Our answer is: no.

There is simply no circumstance where refusing to forgive would be to our benefit.

Forgiveness is about freedom. Failing to forgive cripples us spiritually; it closes our heart to the love of Jesus and leads us to keep him at a distance.

We all have someone to forgive; someone who has disappointed, betrayed, abandoned or hurt us in some way. For those of us who are married, it’s practically impossible that we haven’t wounded each other at some time.

Let us pray for all married couples, that they might seek forgiveness and healing in their relationship.

Prayer

Jesus our Redeemer, you call us to fullness of life in you, a life of freedom and joy. In your darkest moment, you forgave your tormentors, and you forgave me for the sins that you accepted on my behalf.

I repent of all that keeps me separated from you, especially the resentment and bitterness I have held against those who have hurt me. Through the power of your Name, I forgive them. Lord Jesus, I desire to be close to you, immersed in your love and the love of our Father.

Fill every ache and every longing in my heart with your presence, that I might transmit your love and mercy to others.

Amen.

Francine & Byron Pirola Bio

Francine & Byron Pirola are the co-founders of SmartLoving (www.smartloving.org) – a global ministry that seeks to form couples in vibrant relationships through the integration of theology with contemporary relationship science. They have been married for over 30 years, have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.

31 Days Prayer Points

  1. Pray for the restoration of FAMILY, FATHERHOOD and MOTHERHOOD in our nation. Malachi 4:6
  2. Pray for healing for MARRIAGES, protection for CHILDREN and restoration of the sanctity of LIFE. Isaiah 58:12
  3. Pray for Revival, Renewal and Reformation for Australia, that our nation might return to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14

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