The Cross Says ‘Let It Go’
By Rick Warren
— April 14, 2017
“Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others” (Hebrews 12:15 Phillips).
Forgiveness is free. But it’s not cheap. It cost Jesus Christ his life. And it’s also not easy. Forgiveness can only occur when the offended person volunteers to assume the debt and not to get even or seek revenge. That’s what Jesus did for us. That’s what he calls us to do for others.
But how can you release your hurt? The Bible tells us there are three steps we can take to find freedom from unforgiveness.
- Leave it to God. Give up your right to get even. Trying to get even only escalates the conflict. Instead, let God settle the score.
- Heal it with grace. The only way to let go of your hurt is to get ahold of God’s grace. The Bible says, “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others” (Hebrews 12:15 Phillips). Bitterness is contagious.
- Nail it to the Cross. The Cross is God’s answer to all your needs. Jesus died so you could be forgiven. He died so you could be set free from fear, bitterness, and resentment. There is no psychology, no therapy, no pill, no self-help seminar that can set you free like the power of the cross.
The Bible says, “We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6 NCV). Don’t be a slave any longer to the sin of unforgiveness. Release your grip on the person who hurt you. Do it every day if you have to. No matter how often that painful memory returns, bring it to God, ask for his grace, and then leave your hurt at the cross.
Talk It Over
- Why is it tough to give up your right to get even?
- How have you seen yourself or others become slaves to the sin of unforgiveness?
- What person or people do you need to forgive? Ask God to give you the grace to do so this week.
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