Fresh Hope – 1st November 2017

Are there certain people in your life who bring up feelings of anger in you when you see them? Do negative feelings toward them arise when you so much as think of them? If your answer is yes, then chances are forgiveness might be in order! If you think holding a hidden grudge or attitude doesn’t affect you, you are wrong.

The King Brown Snake is native to Australia and ranks as the world’s second deadliest snake. I’ve encountered several in my lifetime. I saw one on a walk just this weekend been. Once, I found a baby Brown under a towel in my bathroom! Baby snakes are more poisonous than an adult, unable to control their venom, they can kill up to 20 men! That is a pretty potent poison! Were you to get bitten by a snake, you would need to lie as still as possible, minimizing blood flow and therefore the poison getting into your glands. You would also tightly bandage the bite with any clothing available, again restricting the flow of poison throughout the body until you could get some anti-venom into your system.

Like the poison of a snake, unforgiveness starts with a small bite of offense. Left untreated, the venom of bitterness is all consuming and destroys the person.

Forgiving someone who has wronged you is rarely what we feel like doing. Rarely is forgiveness a one off decision, sometimes it is a daily choice, maybe even an hourly choice until we find freedom!
Forgiveness doesn’t make what they did right. What it does do, is free you. It frees you to love, frees you to enjoy life, and frees you to live in peace and wholeness.
If unforgiveness is the venom, then it is Jesus that is the anti-venom. For it is He who gives us the ability to forgive. It is He who forgave us, and therefore empowers us to do the same for those who have robbed from us, slandered against us, and knowingly or unknowingly bought us pain.

Forgiveness involves letting go. It means we trust God to serve justice, and take care of the perpetrator of our pain.

Jesus then takes it up a notch by not only asking us to forgive, but to ‘bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ (Luke 6:28). Why on earth would Jesus ask us to not only forgive, but to BLESS those who have wronged us?! The answer is because in the process of prayer you are healed, and your heart is positioned for freedom. When we are praying for blessing on someone who has hurt us, we don’t have time to harbour offensive, and we then move forward free and powerful, no longer enslaved.

Matthew 18:21-35

Emma Montesi

A daily devotion for a better way of living.