The Freeing Power of Forgiveness
If you have ever done something wrong (Who hasn’t?), and have been convicted in your conscience for your trespass, and have been carrying the guilt and shame around with you, you know how deeply the soul longs to be released from its burden. (This could be sin against another person or against our Lord.) And when you finally receive the forgiveness you so desperately want, you know what a great weight has been lifted from you and that the shackles that bound you to your offense have been broken. You are free, again! Forgiveness has the power to set us free.
It can be difficult to accept that you did wrong to another person. We sometimes try to hide behind such things as “I didn’t mean to say that,” or “I forgot,” or “I didn’t think you would mind.” Acknowledging our having offended another person is the beginning of the road to forgiveness. If that step is never taken, forgiveness will never happen.
Let us now consider the person against whom I have sinned. My offense has become a barrier between me and them. What might they be thinking? “Does he really believe what he said about me?” “Does she care about me at all?” “How should I now act toward him?” “Has our relationship changed?” If you’ve ever been in this position (I think we all have.), you know the questions and uncertainty which exist between you and that person.
So when he or she comes to you and admits, “I did you wrong,” a great weight is lifted from your shoulders as well. The cloud of uncertainty which stood between the two of you was lifted. You are free as well - free to continue in your relationship without doubts standing in the way.
Such is the freeing power of forgiveness. To both the offender and the offended, forgiveness gives freedom. No wonder the Lord insists that we confess our faults to one another and seek forgiveness. It’s a blessed thing!