What keeps us from entering God’s promised land for our lives?
Often, they are self-imposed limitations.
Here is a post written by Shawn Seeley. Shawn has an amazing testimony of how God changed him through some unbelievable circumstances.
If you’ve never heard his story I implore you to, seriously, it’s an amazing story. You can view it by clicking the link below:
He recently shared his story with our youth ministry and wrote this post on the barrier of Unforgiveness.
Forgiveness doesn’t hold someone to their past, it gives them a hope for the future.
Forgiveness is accusing someone of doing something wrong and declaring them guilty – then releasing them from that guilt and shame, and giving up our right to be angry and hurt about it.
Forgiveness removes guilt and shame, and it requires us to admit that we’re guilty.
Forgiveness is a scary thing because it messes with our pride.
To explain what forgiveness is, I’m going to use the imagery of rocks. Rocks are hard, heavy, and can break things.
When we do something wrong and need someone to forgive us, we carry around the weight (rock) of our guilt and shame.
When someone does something wrong to us, we carry around the weight (rock) of anger and hurt.
Over time, we accumulate a lot of weight (guilt, shame, anger, hurt) and this weight begins to keep us from doing all that God has planned for us by weighing us down and wearing us out.
When we refuse to accept forgiveness or withhold extending forgiveness, we are willingly holding onto a pile of guilt, shame, anger, and hurt.
When we refuse to forgive, we’re holding onto the rock of anger and hurt, saving it for later to throw at the person we need to forgive.
When we refuse to ask for forgiveness, our pride tells us that we’d rather hold on to our guilt and shame than risk someone helping us get rid of it.
Forgiveness requires the forgiver to accuse the forgiven and then toss aside the rock of anger and hurt, giving up the right to be angry with or to hurt the forgiven, promising it won’t be brought up again.
It also requires the forgiven to offer up the rock of guilt and shame that’s been weighing them down.
The cool thing is that God provided complete and total forgiveness for us in Jesus.
Romans 3.25 tells us that Jesus is the sacrifice for all sin, breaking down every barrier between man and God, and that God is pleased with this sacrifice.
Romans 5.10-11 tells us that Christ as reconciled us to God while we were still his enemies – he’s made us friends of God.
Hebrews 1.3 tells us that Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father, signifying that his sacrifice made our forgiveness complete. Since we’ve been completely and totally forgiven, without reservation, we are free to forgive others the same as Jesus has forgiven us. It’s also expected of us as Christians.
Colossians 3.12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
I have been forgiven, therefore, I choose to forgive.