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We all go through things that are unfair. It’s easy to hold on to the hurts, think about what someone said, relive the offense. We don’t realize how much that’s souring our attitude, draining our energy, and limiting our creativity. If you’re going to fulfill your destiny, you have to get good at letting things go. Jesus said that “offenses will come” (Luke 17:1). He didn’t say offenses might come. He said, “Disappointments, betrayals, and unfair things will come.” How you deal with these offenses will determine whether you move forward and see the new things God has in store or whether you get stuck in bitterness.
I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t heal from emotional wounds, you’ll bleed on people who had nothing to do with it.” How many people are living wounded over how they were raised, or a friend who walked away, or a business partner who cheated them? Instead of letting it go, they relive all the hurt over and over. Then they wonder why they don’t have good relationships. It’s because they haven’t healed. They’re living out of a wounded place. Until you get well, until you let go of the hurt, that wound will hinder you wherever you go. You have to heal so you can see new relationships and new opportunities.
In the Scripture, Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive someone who did him wrong. He asked, “Up to seven times?” which was more than double the Jewish law requirement. Jesus replied, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). It wasn’t about the number; it was about the principle. Jesus was saying, “I want you to live in a continual process of forgiveness. Forgiveness should be a constant part of your life.” He set a system in place so we wouldn’t hold on to the hurts, offenses, and disappointments. The quicker you let things go, the easier it is.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to pray: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done us wrong.” He was saying that every day we should be ready to forgive. It doesn’t have to be big things. When a store clerk or coworker is rude to you, just smile and let it go. Life is full of wounded people who haven’t dealt with past wounds. At times they’ll be disrespectful, say things they shouldn’t, and do hurtful things. You can’t stop offenses from coming, but you can keep them from getting down in you. Are you living offended and bitter, holding a grudge? Today can be a turning point. You can forgive and release them right now. Let it go. This is your time to be free.
Thank You For Watching Joel Osteen Special Christmas Eve Tie-In Service Lakewood Church