For our God is an all-consuming fire.~Hebrews 12:29b ESV
After a particularly grueling counseling session, I sat with red puffy eyes in my backyard next to my fire pit, holding a lighter in one hand and a piece of paper in the other.
The page contained a lengthy list of offenses I needed to forgive. My heart was heavy as I thought back over the impact this person’s choices made on my life. Earlier in the day, my counselor challenged me to take the paper and burn it. This symbolic act of forgiving and letting go would stave off the bitterness, anger, and resentment that unforgiveness inevitably brings. She said letting go would free my hands to grab hold of the love, joy, and peace I deserved and enable me to begin the process of experiencing true freedom.
I knew this act would take me one step closer to healing the deep-rooted wounds that took up too much space in my heart, so I eagerly lit the paper. As I watched the offenses I’d written go up in flames, Hebrews 12:29 came to mind. The words “our God is an all-consuming fire” caused me to wonder. I know God is interested in consuming the areas in my life where I have sinned against Him, but was He also interested in doing the same thing when people sin against me?
When I finally stood up to go inside, a pile of ashes sat in the fire pit–a pile I knew would eventually disintegrate. I also knew the deep-rooted wounds taking up too much space in my heart would too.
“And I will be to her a wall of fire all around,” declares the Lord, “and I will be the glory in her midst.”~Zechariah 2:5 ESV
The all-consuming fire of God burns up anything unholy, such as our sin and the sins that people commit against us. Asking for forgiveness and being willing to forgive others allows God to burn up our sin and anything else that harms or prevents us from being who He calls us to be. This is why it’s crucial to ask for forgiveness and extend it as well.
Is there anyone in your life whom you need to forgive? If so, write on a piece of paper everything you need to forgive them for and then destroy the paper. Let this symbolic act of letting go take you one step further in your healing process.
Write your forgiveness prayer.
Lord God, please forgive me for the sins I’ve committed against people in my life. Please help me to forgive the wrongs done to me as well. I release everything to You. Amen.
Copyright 2021: The Power of Forgiveness: Brandie J. Muncaster: All Rights Reserved