“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10

As I struggled with forgiveness, the more I pray and read God’s word, it is revealed to me why He commands us to do so.

First, He revealed to me how hard it had made my heart.  As I would go through my daily activities, if someone “rubbed” me the wrong way I could physically feel the hurt in my heart.  I could not have sincere compassion or empathy for anyone with my heart hardened, not even my family.

Second, I knew I was sinning so therefore, I could not have the intimate relationship with God that I desperately longed for. As I sinned, I felt guilt and shame, those feelings kept me from seeking God and I would try to “hide” or pull away from Him.

Lastly, I realized that I was letting Satan win. My competitive spirit kicked in and I felt like I was back on the softball field as a little girl.  God is my coach and Satan is the other team.  I will do anything not to disappoint my coach and I wanted to make Him proud.  I also wanted to beat Satan with every fiber of my being, so I forgave and asked God to clean my heart of all bitterness.

As I began to forgive myself, others and also asked others for forgiveness, I could physically feel my heart “feel” again.  It is scary, vulnerability can be so frightening but the blessing is so much more rewarding.  The weight of the guilt and shame was lifted off of my heart and God’s love and peace overwhelmed me.  Only God can give me that comfort.

So I will ask you, are you letting Satan win?

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Romans 8-31