1- How can you see forgiveness as an act of freedom?

Much energy is expended in keeping our angers, hurts and fears pushed down. We expend so much energy on simply trying to make it through another day, that there is little left over to give away to others. The key, for us is locked up in the whole issue of repentance and forgiveness. As we live in forgiveness and grace, releasing and forgiving others from theses issues, we will find “His yoke is easy and His burden light” (Matthew 12:30)
The only way out of our prisons is forgiveness and then repentance for judging. We can have justice if we want, but if we do, we have to realize that the enemy will see to it that we also get what we deserve. “a person will reap only what he sows.” Galatians 6:7 We are entitled to justice, but then we will also reap what we have sown. We, too, will receive the justice we deserve instead of mercy. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7  (Elijah House)

Let’s take a pause to  withdraw in our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to show us where, in our lives, there is need for forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit is always positive and Satan is always negative. He is always the accuser, the destroyer. His intent is to bring guilt, fear, hopelessness, sin and accusation. The ones who can upset us are those we are close to – husbands, wives, parents, sibling, primary authority figures, teachers, employers, friends and those we have high expectations of… These people have the potential to hurt us. Because of that, we can get into a pattern of judging them and thinking wrong thoughts about them which, in turn, produce accusation. Holding on to hurts and judgments is a luxury none of us can afford. It is like giving Satan a key to our house!

Let’s look at St Paul and his outstanding conversion. A man named Stephen who was being stoned to death cried out “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” (Acts 7:60). Young Saul of Tarsus was there, watching the scene and approving of the stoning. Because Stephen forgave, there was no binding, the enemy wasn’t allowed to hold that young Saul in his grip. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 and Saul could experience later a dramatic conversion on his way to Damascus. He became St. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.
We want now to loosen the ties of unforgiveness that hold our hearts and we make a list of all the people we need to free. We then commit them into God’s hands, asking Him to forgive us for judging them and telling Him that we forgive each for the hurts they’ve caused us…..

We are going to offer the gift of forgiveness to those who have hurt us and sinned against us. We are going to give them a gift they don’t deserve – our forgiveness – just as our Heavenly Father has given us a gift that we don’t deserve – His forgiveness. We want mercy for us, not the justice we deserve. Therefore, we choose to forgive all others. It is the merciful who obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7)