What mental or emotional weight are you tempted to carry around in your daily life? Anger, bitterness, and other negative emotions stack up and press down on the mind with powerful zeal. Directed at self or others, the result is the same, and distortion of relationship occurs. The enemy does not want us to forgive anyone, let alone ourselves. With constant reminders of the ways in which we have fallen short, messed up, or failed we are kept in a shroud of self-hate.
When performing the deadlift correctly, athletes are able to lift the heaviest weight possible according to their strength training and fitness level. It involves using a bar with equal weight on both sides. The athlete lifts it with outstretched arms, engaging the core and using muscles in the lower half, until a standing position is reached. The weight is then dropped. I remember when I was finally able to deadlift my body weight, which I thought was a great accomplishment, until my coach told me about an athlete nicknamed The Mountain—he deadlifts over 1000 pounds!
Forgiveness is a gift from God; it is not a tangible thing but it produces tangible results. Humans are all born with the ability to forgive, but many have experienced such tragedies in life that this trait is buried in the deep of the soul. Forgiveness releases you from your anger and allows God’s peace replace the negativity. The path to this peace can be more difficult when you are the one you need to forgive. Focusing only on our short-comings we refuse His gift. A good analogy is the athlete that deadlifts and forgets to let go after standing up. Imagine if The Mountain forgot to let go!
The Scriptures are clear that if we ask God to forgive us, He will forgive us (1 John 1:9). We only need to ask (through confession), release and believe. But when we confess our sins and ask God to forgive us but don’t forgive ourselves, we entertain a state of disbelief. Why hold on to something that we have asked God to release? In doing this we are in essence stating that we know better than God and we don’t trust Him. We then become the athletes that pick up the weights and do not drop them at the appointed time.
Release yourself from the heavy burden of bitterness. God is faithful and He will give you the strength to overcome all forms of mental and emotional strain. Arise each morning with a focus on spending time with Him, the Good Shepherd. There is not a secret formula to this. God wants to spend time with you and if you make that one choice each day, He will faithfully show up and reveal Himself in ways you never imagined. Resist the desire to pick up those useless weights and you will find yourself swimming in a refreshing pool of peace.
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