The Power to Forgive

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Power of Grieving Well

Forgiveness always involves grieving.

You’ve probably heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Because they’re called stages, it’s easy to think grief is a linear process. Stage 1, 2, 3...Click. Yeah! I’m over it!

But grieving isn’t like that. It’s more like a spiral. The pain tends to loop back around. You may wake up days, months, or years later and be hit by a wave of sadness and anger that feels just as intense as the moment the hurt happened. This doesn’t mean you haven’t truly forgiven. It just means you need to remind yourself that you chose to forgive.

The good news is, the spiral will get wider and wider. The episodes will get further and further apart. If the spiral comes back around again, don’t feel guilty. It’s normal. Just remind yourself that you chose to forgive. Eventually, you’ll get to a place where the memory of the event will only bring peace.

Forgiveness is obedience to God. But it’s also the path to unlocking the fullness of our freedom in Christ. If you choose to forgive, you can be confident that you’ve been set free. It may take a while to feel free. But know this: You are free!

You don’t have to be held back by the hurt, pain, or shame anymore. Jesus forgave you. You forgave those who hurt you. And now you’re walking on the path to becoming fully you – the person God says you already are in Christ.

This reading plan was adapted from the book Fully You: Unlocking the Power of All You Really Are by Joël Malm