Friday, May 2, 2008
Freedom to Freedom!
May we open up the prison doors of our heart and set those we hold captive there free!
When we do this, we will then know true freedom for our own life as well.
Physically speaking a prisoner is held captive until he pays his debt in full. Spiritually speaking we can try and hold someone captive behind the prison doors of our heart until they pay us what we believe they owe us. And we will refuse to open those prison doors and release them until they do just that. We offer them no mercy and grace, and thus no forgiveness. We are hurting no one but ourselves when we do this. We may think that we have the power over the one that we are trying to spiritually hold captive, by continually making demands of them, and not being satisfied until they give us what we think they owe us. This will not work, because we all have been given free wills. This is why I say that we are only hurting ourselves. It is like beating our head against a brick wall. Spiritually speaking, when we try to hold someone captive by holding unforgiveness in our heart toward them, we are only holding our self captive. We are not hurting them, they are free and living life. They might regret not being able to have a relationship with us because of our unforgiveness, but other than that, we are the one in turmoil, because we are the one demanding a payment from them, which we honestly believe is a worthy and just payment, and we will not be happy until they have paid the payment in full. Sadly, when we do this, we neglect the lessons of mercy and grace, and we cause our self a lot of unnecessary grief.
Grace is unmerited favor and mercy is a disposition to be kind and forgiving despite the fact that we might think the offender in our opinion is worthy of our justice. Grace and mercy was never intended to be earned they were freely given to us by our Father in heaven when His beloved Son Jesus (our Savior and Lord) took our place on that cross. He died for us while we were yet in our sin.
Don't misunderstand me, we all must use wisdom. For example a person who abuses his wife and will not change his behavior (no efforts in going in a new direction) and has every intention to continue abusing her, should not be shown mercy and grace as to be allowed back into her presence. She should still offer him grace and mercy and forgive him, but to allow him back in her life would be a foolish thing for her to do.
What is it that stops some of us from giving mercy, grace and forgiveness to those who are trying to make a difference though? Here's some things to think about:
It's pretty easy for us to forgive and forget about the complete stranger who flips us the bird on the highway as he is cutting us off and almost causing an accident. Usually before the day has ended we have forgotten about it and think no more of it. We never even considered the possibility of harboring that stranger and his actions in our heart for any length of time. But when it comes to a friend, a loved one or even an acquaintance we will hold onto that offense and harbor it in our heart. We will rehash it and play it over and over in our minds. We shut the door of our heart and try to spiritually lock that person and his hurts up nice and tight on the inside of us, and we hold onto him and his offenses until they give us what we want, and or what we feel we deserve. We neglect to remember that we are only human, and a lot of times the way we see things are in parts and not the whole picture. But even so, shouldn't we let the person who we care about go free just as we would the stranger. We say it is easy to let the stranger go free, because after all there are no feelings of genuine care or love for him.
This is a question that I present: "Because there are feelings of true genuine care and love for the friend, loved one or acquaintance, shouldn't that be all the more reason to let them go free whether we think they have paid their debt in full or not?" Besides that, what if there is a possibility that it's not as clear cut as you might see or think it is? That is just something to think about. Selah.....
Allow me to explain what I am saying. God is the only one that holds the whole truth, the honest truth and nothing but the truth. When God revealed this to me, I was set free from offenses and hurt. I also was able to spiritually set free those who I held captive in my heart. Within myself I offered them mercy, grace and forgiveness and they didn't even have to ask for it. Instead of living in hurt and only offering hurt to others I began living with joy and offering joy. God's power of forgiveness washed over me and His peace came into my life and I was finally set free. This was for my own sake and benefit and for my own spiritual and physical well being.
See, I had my truth and the way I seen things, and the others (whom I had locked up in the prison of my heart who had offended me) they had their truth and the way they seen things. But it was God who held the fullness of Truth, and that was what mattered to me and gave me peace. For you see, God is a just and righteous God and He is all knowing. God is merciful, gracious, loving and forgiving. And for me to know that God held the whole Truth brought great peace and freedom into my life. God revealed to me, that everyone had their own perspective of the situation and how they seen it. I was able to accept this and be content with that. Thus I was able to offer grace and forgiveness to the situation and to everyone involved.
My God forgave me my debt and I must forgive others their debt. If I don't, the Master will hand me over to the tormentors to be tormented (Mt. 18: 22-35). This could mean emotional, physical or even spiritual torment. Being forgiven and forgiving others has set me free, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Thank you Father God!
I can entrust my heart in the hands of my Heavenly Father because I know that His judgements are pure and righteous toward me. And you can entrust your heart with Him as well. He knows you and sees you more intimately than anyone else ever will be able too. He is your Heavenly Daddy, He created you and breathed life into you. You can rest in Him!