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Time to Let Go - Girlfriends in God - Mar. 21, 2013

Time to Let Go

Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

“There is no God like you. You forgive those who are guilty of sin; you don’t look at the sins of your people who are left alive. You will not stay angry forever, because you enjoy being kind. You will have mercy on us again; you will conquer our sins. You will throw away all our sins into the deepest part of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19, ncv).

Friend to Friend

A little boy and his mom had gone shopping at the mall. The little boy had acted very badly, whining, wanting everything he saw, and running away from his mother.

As they were driving home he could tell his mom was very angry. He looked over at her and said, “When we are bad and we ask God to forgive us, He does, doesn’t He?” His mom glanced at him and replied, “Yes, He does.” “And when He forgives us He buries our sins in the deepest sea, doesn’t he?” The mom answered, “Yes, that is what the Bible teaches.” The little boy sat in silence for a while, and then he said, “I’ve asked God to forgive me. But I bet when we get home, you’re going to go fishing for those sins, aren’t you?”

Part of true forgiveness is releasing the hurt, letting go of the pain. When we don’t, it becomes a constant spiritual and emotional drain, robbing us of joy, peace…even light. To experience the power of forgiveness, we have to quit fishing in the emotional waters of our past.

I love superglue and use it for just about everything. One day, I was trying to repair a miniature tea set, reached for my trusty superglue and went to work. I glued the broken saucer and held it in place for 30 seconds, only to discover that I had glued my finger to the saucer. After several painful minutes of struggling to work my finger loose, I was free. The experience reminded me of forgiveness. When we refuse to release people from the hurt they have caused us, we are gluing them to their mistakes. When we cling to pain they have caused us, we are refusing to see them as more than something that they have done.

Psalm 103:12 reminds us that “He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west”(nlt).When we accept the forgiveness of God, He separates us from our sins. Then He calls us to do the same with the people in our lives. Nowhere does God say that we have to feel like forgiving. He just commands us to forgive. Our feelings are irrelevant. Our obedience is what matters.

Forgiveness is an independent act between God and us. It is totally separate from the response or reaction of the person we are forgiving. We are not responsible for their reaction; that responsibility belongs to them and to God. Our responsibility is to forgive. When we refuse to forgive, we not only harm ourselves, we become a hindrance to God working in their lives. “Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover” (2 Corinthians 2:7 nlt).

Anytime that we impede the work of God we are in a dangerous position. It is time to let go of the hurt. It is time to forgive.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am so tired of holding on to the pain in my life. I want to forgive those who have hurt me and learn how to let go of the pain and walk on. Today, I lay down my pride and my rights. I will not seek revenge or retaliation. Instead, I choose to love my enemies and bless those who have harmed me. Please give me the strength and power to honor you as I step out in obedience.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read and meditate on the following verses:

Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT) "So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you … leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”

Make a list of the sins in your life that need the forgiveness of God. Ask God to forgive you for each one. If you have sinned against someone else, be willing to take the first step of reconciliation. If someone has sinned against you, forgive them and go to them in love, seeking restoration. Consider the following questions and answer them honestly.

What are the rewards of forgiveness?

What are the barriers to forgiveness in my heart?

What are the things for which I cannot forgive myself?

What does that indicate about my understanding of true forgiveness?

More from the Girlfriends

Since each lesson stands alone, it is not too late to join Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. When you join, you have access to all of the 2013 lessons. The current study is Power Up With Proverbs.

Need help balancing your life? Check out Mary’s E-Bible Study, Time: Friend or Foe. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email

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