Forgiveness. A recent episode spiked my interest in this topic. Everyone in this world has been wronged in some way or another, some times in subtle ways and at other times in ways like the boom of thunder in a summer storm. How do you deal with this? Some of the classic responses are anger, sadness, rejection, revenge, gossip, and the list goes on; slowly poisoning our hearts and minds and those of the individuals that surround us. I am often right with the list. A hot trigger point for me is when the other person gets off looking and smelling like a rose! What are your trigger points? How do I deal with them? How does Christ look at forgiveness? What does it mean to walk the path of freedom in forgiveness? These are some things that I want to tackle in this post.
What is forgiveness? Forgiveness means granting pardon, mercy, releasing the need to judge another, separating the person from the action. Forgiveness is not denial, condoning, or forgetting.
First of all, we need to look at the pain. Acknowledge what has been done, how it made you feel and your current feelings. Don’t try to cover them up with food, internet, etc. Doing that is “hueing out broken cisterns” (Jer.2:13).
Step two-pray. Have you ever found yourself unable or unwilling to forgive? Ask God to break down the walls of unforgiveness in your heart. Spend lots of time with God, only He is able to bring healing to the pain. Ask God to show you the truth in the situation. Pray that the lies spoken to you would be broken in Jesus Name. Take responsibility and confess your part in the incident.
Step three-make the conscious decision to forgive. This is not about feelings! It is about a deliberate choice to walk in obedience to God. It is called faith. One may find it helpful to write out what happen. “I forgive ___________ for ____________. It made me feel _________________. Write down as much as you need to. Take the paper and pray about what you wrote. Then burn it, flush it, or rip it in pieces. As you say, “I am choosing to forgive ______________ for ____________.” Don’t expect change in the other person. Expect it in you. Forgiveness is a journey. It takes time. And some times you have to make the conscious choice again and again.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.