A lesson on forgiveness
I was hurt – very hurt. Someone had said an untruth that bothered me tremendously. I felt angry, betrayed and resentful. Everything I said and touched started to turn to stone. My heart became hardened. I wanted to feel the anger – conversations always led back to how hurt I felt. I knew it was wrong. I felt torn in two, worn out. I was stuck in “unforgiveness”.
What could I do?
I recall those feelings now. I don’t have them anymore. I was able to forgive and find peace.
How? How did I do that?
Here are 6 things you need to know before you can start on the road to forgiveness.
- Let Go.
Yes Let go – Forgiveness means a decision to let go of resentment or anger. It does not mean a denial of what happened or that the act is justified.
But we need to LET GO.
How can we do that? Did you hear that the definition says that we don’t condone what was done? But we let go of it. It is something that will happen supernaturally as you follow through these steps. But you need to keep it in the front of your mind as I go through the steps. Remember Let Go.
2. Ask yourself – What are the pitfalls of not forgiving?
You may ask what if I do forgive – how will that help me? I want to stay angry. I feel like I deserve the right to be angry.
I’ve been hurt and want to feel the pain.
My answer is, you do have that right to keep the anger. We have free will. But what does anger do to you – to your body, mind and soul. It does everything you don’t want it to do. It makes you sick. You may ache physically from tenseness. You may have headaches, fatigue, weight gain, weight loss, or depression. These are things that could happen if you keep the anger.
Listen to Proverbs 14:30 in The Message:
A sound mind makes for a robust body,
but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
That doesn’t sound too delightful does it? Corroding of the bones – brittle bones, disintegrating, useless.
3. Check out what you may be missing without forgiving.
There are good things that happen to you when you forgive. Besides better health your face changes, you smile more often. You see goodness around you (by the way it was there before).
And as a Christian how do we want others to see us – as angry, or as loving, peacemaking people? God wants us to forgive others and He says that unless we do so how will God forgive us of our sins (and we do have them, don’t we?).
Listen to Matthew 5:8 in The Message:
You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
We lose touch with God when our minds and hearts are out of whack. (Tweet this)
When we are fraught with anxiety, fear and anger we can’t find God.
“Unforgiveness” does that – it blocks the goodness around us.
It blocks our relationship with God.
4. Get Over Yourself and Think of Others
Be kind to your friends and become a loving person once again. If you are truthful you will hear how you are acting around others. Remember we all sin. So if someone has sinned against you – be a peacemaker and forgive them so that when the tables are turned you too will receive forgiveness.
5. Don’t fret the small stuff
We are not perfect – not one of us.
How do you know when you are going to go down that path and do something to someone else? You may not even know it – and they might be upset with something you said and did. So really – don’t fret the small stuff. There are many other things that will happen and this area that is upsetting you now will seem trivial in the future. Remember the saying, Do under others as you would have them do to you.
6. Ask God
This really should be step one but you had to find out why you needed to give up the “unforgiveness” before I gave you this step.
Ask God for help.
Yes He can’t change your emotions but He can help you change them, He can help you find peace, He can help you know Him and His ways which are higher than any other way.
If God says to do it – Do it. And do it right now.
Don’t wait because God says we are to do it right away – not to let the sun go down. Get rid of it – now. Ask God to help you get rid of this “unforgiveness” – and then release it to Him – right now.
Listen to Ephesians 4:26-27 from The Message:
Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
I will be praying for everyone who is harbouring a grudge or living in an unforgiving state.
Give yourself a break and give it over to God.
May I pray for you and me?
Lord, this “unforgiveness” is one of the hardest things we face in our life here on earth. You talked about it in Your Word. You said we have to forgive. Period. So Lord I give over any feelings, emotions, or hardness of heart that I have resting in me. I ask You to cleanse me of all of it. Even the stuff I don’t know about. Give me a clean heart before you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until next time read Colossians 3:13. Remember to bear with each other and let the world know we are Christians by our love for one another.
Other Resources to Help You
The word forgive: Forgiveness can be defined as the decision to let go of resentment, anger, and thoughts of revenge as a result of a real, or perceived offense, hurt, or wrongdoing against you. Forgiving someone does not mean denying a person’s responsibility for hurting you, nor does it mean minimizing, or justifying the act. (http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/forgiveness-and-letting-go.html)
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I was just diagnosed with arthritis in both knees due to a fall. Your blog came at an interesting time.
This is an excellent post on forgiveness, Janis. Forgiveness is a choice and even when it takes a while to forgive (letting go of resentment with God’s help), I feel at peace. It’s good for my bones and my soul. I’ll be sharing this post.
It’s easier to write something that we have gone through, isn’t it? It’s a choice – to forgive the person and yourself. It’s a miracle that only God can provide. Thanks,