Forgiveness in the kingdom of God is not optional. Forgiveness is to relationships what oxygen is to life. Forgiveness opens up space in us for relationships to continue just as surely as exhaling already used air creates new space for fresh, life giving air in our lungs.
To withhold forgiveness is like holding one’s breath hoping our offender will faint. Offenders will be more impressed by our freedom to breathe out forgiveness than by our ability to hold our breath in anger.
Jesus told his disciples to forgive 70 times 7. In others words, He instructs us to breathe. Holding our offenses within is not a strategy for survival.
As Jesus was dying on the cross He breathed out forgiveness for us all. He breathed forgiveness then and he breathes forgiveness now.
Breathe your hurts out in the presence of God and be filled with fresh mercy from the One who has forgiven you so many times. The giving of forgiveness creates space for God’s mercy to flood into us. Breathe!