Matthew 6:12

“…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”

Eva Mozes Kor was born in the January of 1934 with her twin sister Miriam. When they were 10 years old, the girls were stripped from [either stripped of or snatched from] their everyday lives and taken to Auschwitz. They were only one of many pairs of twins that were subjected to torturous testing by Dr. Josef Mengele. Her small body was pushed to the verge of death and she was viewed as nothing more than a “dirty Jew”. Though she refused to die and made it out of Auschwitz alive, her memories and pain remained.

Almost seventy years later, Eva was asked to be a witness against the Nazis who took part in her attack. Her response was incredible. Eva had resolved within her own heart that she was going to forgive those who hurt her. Although she did not stop the fight for justice, she did decide that she no longer wanted to hold on to the pain. She encourages others to strive for forgiveness for those who’ve caused their own hurts as well.

Eva did not have to forgive the men; it would have made no difference to them if she had not. However, forgiveness made all the difference for her. She was holding on to hurt that had a lasting impact on her life and she was tired of carrying it with her. Forgiveness allowed her to let go. Her forgiveness shows a more complete view of why Jesus calls us to forgiveness.

Jesus came to lead us into a life that is filled to the fullest with goodness. When we hold on to hurt, it takes up space in our life that He intends for blessings. Jesus calls us into forgiveness for a few reasons. First, it creates unity among people. Second, it is a way for us to follow in His footsteps. Third, it frees us. Forgiveness is not only a call to reconciliation; it is a call to freedom! When we forgive others as Christ forgave us, it humbles us to let go of our hurt so we can make more room for the joy that freedom in Christ offers us. (It’s difficult to understand how this last sentence flows with the previous sentences.)

QUESTION 1. Who have you had a hard time forgiving? What benefits are there from holding on to that pain?
QUESTION 2. What do you need to do in order to truly forgive someone who hurt you?
CHALLENGE: Write a letter to someone you need to forgive today and allow yourself to let go of that pain. You don’t have to send the letter, but allow God to show you how to forgive like he forgives!
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