Forgiveness must be freely given

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Summer fades, and if you stand among the tall trees here in the Cariboo the sounds of falling leaves could be mistaken for the rains of autumn. This is the time of year that we celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of us can look around and find things that we are thankful for – I am most thankful for forgiveness. Forgiveness must be freely given. This is what makes it such a great gift.

We see many instances in the bible where we are told forgiveness is key to being forgiven. Jesus’ ministry is all about forgiveness of sin, Believers in Jesus are a forgiven people.

We must forgive because it is in our forgiveness that we show our great gratitude that we have been forgiven by God through Jesus Christ His son.

I had a friend that once told me about this cage and it made so much sense to me. He said “have you ever gone somewhere and you are all charged up to have a great time and all of a sudden there they are, the person you have a problem with, the unforgiven and you turn and walk the other way changing your entire plans.”

Who is affected? Who’s in the cage? By not forgiving them you enslave yourself…you keep yourself hostage. God has not only forgiven us for our debts but He put in place the way we could be forgiven. We could use this as an example you know, be the first to call and break the dead lock that may be the key.

Our God is a God of freedom, He does not want any of us to be caged. A cage constructed of bitterness and resentment can only be unlocked by the key of forgiveness. It is my prayer that each of us will extend the hand of forgiveness as it has been extended to us. Happy Thanksgiving.

Jim VanderHeyden is captain in the Salvation Army in Quesnel.