The results of forgiveness are amazing. It’s only after people have forgiven that they realize how unforgiveness had been holding them back. It’s a barrier that keeps the fruit of the spirit from flowing freely. Unforgiveness keeps people stuck in the place of wounding. It’s so wonderful to see the Spirit of Christ break through and set people free.
To forgive is to let go of what we think someone owes us as a payback for the wrong they have done to us. We can do so when we recall how much we ourselves have been forgiven through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Once we let go of what we owe, or of what others owe us, we actually receive more of what the Lord has made available for us. We are then free to be and do what we are called to do without restriction, and with increased vision. The love of God enables us to forgive. It’s the source and the result; the cause and the effect; the seed and the harvest.
Walking in forgiveness, especially with ourselves, releases love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Those who walk in the Spirit, walk in forgiveness. Those who walk in forgiveness can walk in the Spirit. As Christ forgave us, we forgive others; and above all things we put on love, and go and grow, from glory to glory!
Colossians 3:12-15 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.