Your Get Out of Jail Free Card
It’s never too late for a fresh start, I would like to permit you to set yourself free from your self-made prison.
This is your “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
Whether you know it or not, most of us are living behind invisible, steel-clad bars that are stronger than any bars created at Alcatraz or Rikers Island. And these bars are keeping you from your full God-given potential. They are holding you in place and keeping you from happiness and peace.
These cells take shape and form of many different things, like greed, envy, or selfishness, but today I want to talk to you about two different ways that many of us are keeping ourselves locked up:
1. By not forgiving ourselves.
2. By not forgiving others.
First: Forgive Yourself
Centuries ago, Paul gave this universal advice: “Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13-14
Many of us get stuck in our past failures. We fixate on the mistakes, focus on the missteps, and think about the what-ifs to the point of madness. When we do this, our backward-facing selves never get a chance to look forward, which keeps us in a constant state of reaction rather than pro-action. Sound familiar? By doing so, we can’t possibly be hopeful, we can’t possibly make plans, and we can’t ever see God’s blessings. We’re living in the past with no road map for the future.
Second: Forgive Others
The next way to get out of your self-made prison is found in Colossians, “Bear with each other and forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” Col 3:13
Max Lucado once wrote: “Unforgiving servants always end up in prison. Prisons of anger guilt and depression. God says to you in His word “don’t sentence yourself to prison.”
Ask yourself this, “Who am I holding a grudge against today and why?” Every one of us has been hurt by another person and many of us hold onto and nurture this injustice until it destroys our relationship and ruins our peace of mind entirely. By forgiving others, you are setting yourself free from the pain they caused you so that you can move on.
I believe that today is an excellent time for you to rise to the forgiveness challenge. It’s time to say to yourself I am going to, with God’s help, forget my past and stop torturing myself about what I did or didn’t do. I’m going to forgive others and stop allowing their sins against me to control and destroy my life.
Only by doing so, can you open the door to your self-made prison and take a giant step out of the door and into God’s freedom.
AND STRAINING FORWARD TO WHAT LIES AHEAD, I PRESS ON TOWARDS THE GOAL FOR WHICH GOD HAS CALLED ME HEAVENWARDS IN CHRIST JESUS.