The Truth About Forgiveness
I held grudges (or need I say records of wrongs). Why? Because in the past I felt, that I had been made to feel for many years, that certain things didn't happen. But they did. It was my way of holding on to my truth. I certain comfort, one might say. However, memories in my mind would get replayed and those memories would allow me also to hold on to the pain. They would allow me to say mad. I suppose that I felt my strength lay in my anger. In a way I felt like by losing the pain, that I'd be losing myself and in doing that ...who the heck would I be? Because that anger was all that I knew. The pain was my story. But then I realized that the pain is in my story, it's not my story, it's not how my story ends. In pain.
My story alone is not all that encompasses who I am, and definitely not who I am in Christ. I am so much more than a summation of events that happened to me and for me. I am God's masterpiece. He has never left my side despite every choice that I chose to make, every path I decided to go down, every traumatic event that I was invited to be a guest at as a consequence for those choices, decisions or paths taken. He has never been more than a prayer and a repentant heart away.
"He has never been more than a prayer and a repentant heart away."
It is He who makes forgiveness possible. Holding onto grudges or pain doesn't bring forth the righteous comfort that we truly want or need. It may bring a comfort of familiarity because you may have been in that space for a long time and you know it well. But there is no peace that comes with it, no joy accompanied. Just malice, and anger and rotten attitudes rooted in bitterness. Letting go of this old friend, this grudge- breeds FREEDOM.
Why release unforgiveness from your heart?
Firstly, by knowing that not forgiving is a reflection of you not caring enough about yourself. Forgiveness is Not for the other person. It is, however for you. When you choose to forgive, you allow that pain to fester into bitterness and change you. The other person isn't usually directly or internally impacted by the fact that you feel some type of way towards or about them. But YOU do! It affects your mental state and even your body at times. So if unforgiveness is that powerful, powerful enough to affect your health, its imperative that you heal yourself by forgiving. The kicker is, it doesn't affect the other individual's health; not one bit (not that you'd want it to). So do it for yourself.
How to release unforgiveness?
The other thing about forgiveness...do it because God requires it of us. The Bible says, in Mark 11:26- "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." Now I don't know about you girl, but I want no part of THAT. I need all of the forgiveness coming my way! But yet AGAIN, you are not doing it for the other person who hurt you so deeply. You are doing it out of obedience. Sometimes, this may not feel like there is an immediate release but in time, you won't even think of them or their offense. It's like with grief, eventually it begins to hurt a little less. So now to the HOW part. The best way that I know to do this is to ask God to take it away from you through prayer. To ask Him to heal your heart and to help you to move forward.
It's amazing what prayer will do.
What you don't have to do is to tell the other person that you forgive them. You can but you are not obligated to. Let that be between you and God if you need to. That is unless they are asking for forgiveness from you.
Lastly, You do not have to continue to allow that person to be a part of your life, just because you've chosen to forgive them. If they are a close family member or if you are connected through your children and you have to see, remember to be kind, with a Christ-like attitude and be okay with not having continual and constant contact with them. This especially applies if they are hurtful or have the capacity to be. Pray for them and their soul and move on with your day. Praying for your enemies is freeing, even when you're like "but I don't wanna." It is in this act that you become truly free. You begin to see them as a lost soul that needs help and Jesus. For some reason, it helps your heart to soften when you remove the offense from the equation and think of them as merely a lost and flawed person. And aren't we all flawed? For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. None of us are perfect, but we are all made in His image. Pray for them, because at the end of the day, we want everyone to seek God and come to Him with a spirit of brokenness and a contrite heart.
Let me pray for you.
Dear Heavenly Father, we just come humbly before Your throne, asking that you would heal the reader today of their broken heart. A heart hurting due to offense. I pray that since you are the Great Healer, that you would heal their heart and renew their mind. May they only concentrate on whatever is pure and honorable, positive and worthy of praise. May they not be easily offended and any anger that may rise up, I pray that it is a righteous anger grounded in love for You and the knowledge of your Word. May you give them the power and strength to forgive and may they be set free in their obedience to your command. We pray also for the offender and that if they do not know you, that you would touch their hearts and mind as they come to learn about you. We ask all of these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
Finally, I know this post was one of my longer ones, but if you want to have the support of some amazing women and get to know me. JOIN my Facebook Group, its called THE MOMFIDENCE MOVEMENT! Can't wait to meet you and see you there.