‘In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin…’ Romans 6.11
The third aspect of being ‘dead to sin’ is that we are also to be dead to the sins that are committed against us. We may still suffer the effect of them, as indeed we may still suffer the effect of our own sins, but we can be free from all the resentment and bitterness that so easily grows up and chokes us.
Often our unwillingness to forgive is based on the notion that it is unfair because it means that someone is getting away with what they have done. There are two aspects to this. The first is that no-one is getting away with anything! Forgiveness is based on Jesus paying the price for sin, both our sin and the sins of others, and our willingness to forgive enables Jesus to do whatever he wants with that person. The Bible often highlights the link between us asking for forgiveness for ourselves but still wanting others to be punished.
The second aspect worth considering is that if you are unforgiving to someone, the one who is really hurting is you. The other person may be blissfully unaware of what they have done, or of the resentment felt against them. To be dead to the sins of others is to set ourselves free from chains that will hurt us so much more than they will hurt others.
If anyone comes to mind whom you need to forgive, do it now and then enjoy being free.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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