Being Truly Free
05 April 2020
Colossians 3:13 'Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.' (NIV)
When Nelson Mandela was freed from prison on Robben Island he proved that it is possible to be enslaved in body while at the same time being free in mind and spirit. The way that he forgave his jailers and worked for reconciliation between races, showed that he was much less a prisoner than some of the rulers of apartheid had been. Slavery of the mind or spirit is much more common than slavery of the body. Sometimes, an enslaved mind also enslaves the body. When our emotions and perspectives become distorted we condemn our minds and bodies to an unhealthy, unfulfilled, and miserable existence. Nothing enslaves a person's mind like bitterness, unforgiveness and the drive for vengeance. Bitterness causes us to become obsessed with the wrong time to us by another human being. The person who has hurt us will, in our minds, never pay enough for what they have done. Sadly, though, forgiveness keeps the hurt done to us in a prime position within our imagination. It becomes like a movie that we just can't shot off, playing constantly in our minds. In that way, the very person we would like most to forget becomes the one we think about the most. Without even being present, they can rule our lives by affecting every decision and choice we make. Forgiveness releases us from slavery to that person or what they did to us. It frees us to make decisions without the stain of that particular pain.
Prayer: 'Lord, I know that there are things I can only forgive with your help, and in your grace. Please help me to forgive the people who have hurt me the most, so that I am no longer a slave to that memory, that disappointment or that pain.'
© Mal Fletcher 2003-2004