Freedom in Forgiveness
Matthew 6:9-15

We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.

We can sometimes get so focused on ourselves during recovery that we don't spend much time dealing with the way others have sinned against us. Or maybe we're totally focused on the way we've been mistreated, as an excuse for our behavior. This leaves us with emotional baggage that will hinder our progress. Forgiving others is an important key to turning our will over to God.

Jesus taught his disciples, "Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins" (Matthew 6:9-15).

Forgiveness is a choice of our will. Just as our forgiveness was not based on excusing the wrongs we've done, neither does our forgiveness of others call for us to excuse what they've done. We must first convict the offender in our minds, then turn the matter of vengeance over to God. This helps us face the truth about our own pain. It also frees us from any excuse to continue our compulsive behavior because of what's been done to us.

Forgiveness begins as a choice but becomes a process that opens us to God's love and forgiveness.