But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. (Genesis 33:4)
Forgiveness is a powerful force. It says: debt cancelled – you don’t owe me any longer.
In the relationship between Jacob and Esau, Jacob had built up a huge debt. First, he monopolized on a situation of weakness and manipulated Esau into handing over his birthright. Next, he tricked his blind father into giving him Esau’s blessing. Finally, Jacob ran away so that Esau couldn’t get any kind of justice. Esau had much to hold against his brother, and yet time allowed him to forgive.
I can’t imagine what the scene must have looked like when Esau ran to greet his brother. After all, it had been more than 14 years since they had even spoken with one another. I’m not sure what made Esau cancel the debt, but I do know that the cancellation freed him of the bitterness that he felt toward his brother.
Forgiveness frees us of bitterness.
Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone who owes you a debt? Be willing to let it go; there is peace on the other side.
God, please help me to forgive those whom I believe owe me something – whether it be a relationship, a promise, or anything else. Protect me from being embittered by the belief that I have been wronged. Bring healing to past hurts, and let me find peace in You.