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Unforgiveness is debilitating in so many ways. It keeps you locked in your own prison. Fortunately, you have the keys to gain release from that bondage.
Lysa TerKeurst wrote a great article for Thinker that gives people tips to discover how to move on, make peace with painful memories and create a life that’s beautiful again.
I had a lot of unforgiveness in my heart back in 2009. I had been harboring it for many, many years. I dwelled upon it from as far back as early childhood. It was a darkness that clouded nearly every day of my life.
Not only did the unforgiveness cause problems, but it seemed to attract other situations that added to the piles of offenses that clouded my mood, demeanor and outlook.
As TurKeurst noted, “biblical forgiveness forces pain into the light, initiating healing through an individual choice to follow God’s peace.”
I had been a Christian since April 1995, but retained some very painful memories. I cherished them like prized possessions. Finally, one night on Nov. 6, 2009, I had had enough. Following the advice offered by author Neil Anderson in The Bondage Breaker, I actively pursued forgiveness.
I made a list of all the offenses I had been harboring for years from being abandoned in childhood, to being bullied in middle school, to being rejected in high school and nearly 50 other memories God revealed to me that were holding me back.
Then, over a course of three hours, I recalled the details of each painful incident and intentionally spoke a desire to forgive each person. The results were instantaneous. When I woke up the next morning, the cloud of darkness was gone. A tremendous burden had been lifted.
My life has not been just sunshine and roses since then. But, I have made a habit to extend forgiveness far more quickly than I had in the past. I never want to return to that bondage again.
Reading Lysa’s column brought back a number of wonderful memories.
The absolute best gift you can give yourself — as well as the people you love and who love you — this Christmas is the gift of forgiveness. Do not carry this needless burden into a new year. Grab the keys, open that cell and walk into the sunlight!
Lysa TurKeurst will show you how. Her column can be found at Thinker.org.