The holidays typically mean that you will be spending time with extended family. And perhaps you’re in a place where a family member has hurt you, or even is Covercurrently hurting you. Maybe just the thought of Thanksgiving dinner with someone makes you nauseous because of the pain they have caused you.

Might I suggest something that you might not want to hear?

This might be the perfect time to offer forgiveness as the best Christmas gift you could ever give.

A few reminders:

Forgiveness is not the same as condoning.

Forgiveness is not about the other person; it is about you and your heart.

Forgiveness takes one person; reconciliation takes two.

You are only responsible for yourself and your thoughts and your words and your actions. No one else’s.

Forgiveness can set you free.

Unforgiveness is deceiving. It makes you feel like you’re in control, like you’re a better person than the offender. When in actuality, unforgiveness is a trap that keeps you in places you don’t want to be.

Has someone in your family hurt you?
Are you holding on to that pain?
Are you dreading your family get-together because of it?

It’s time, sweet one. It’s time to let this go. It’s time to forgive. It’s time to move on. It won’t be easy, oh no. It will be one of the most difficult things you do.

But I believe Jesus came to set the captives free. Let him set you free from unforgiveness this holiday season.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” –Luke 4:18

God, you know that I am holding onto unforgiveness right now. You see into my heart. You see the damage it’s doing, the toll it’s taking. I don’t want to be a bitter person. Today I choose to forgive. Help me see this through. Amen.

If you are in need of a companion to get you through this season, pick up your copy of Holidays for the Hurting: Twenty Five Devotions to Help You Heal.

Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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