Forgiveness. We love to receive it, but it’s so hard to give when we are the one who hurts. Instead we hold onto the offense nurturing the wound on a minute by minute schedule. We rehash the scene/words over and over and practice what we will say when next we meet the person. Quite a mini series playing out in our imagination. Oh yes, I have been there and done that too.
“And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment]. Matthew 6:12
Use the Key
The key to healing is forgiveness. Choosing not to allow the offense to fester, but rather to nip it in the bud. This had worked for me on many occasions, sparing me the pain of a rotting wound.
I have been on the receiving end and have also been the offender many times. Some offensives I have done on purpose (shocking I know). I have also been totally unaware that I had offended, but offend I did. Could it be that when I have been offended, the other person had no clue to the offense they had caused.
One such occasion comes to mind. I was already stressed; frazzled to be exact. I was sleep deprived and my skill set was stretched way outside its normal comfort zone. I was emotionally, mentally and physically spent while at the same time trying to cope with everyday life and look good doing it. It’s just like Satan to kick us when we are already feeling down.
I felt betrayed, but instead of forgiving on the spot, I busied myself with the task at hand. As I lay exhausted in my bed that night my mind replayed the scene. The already gut wrenching hurt increased with each negative thought.
Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22
By morning I had chosen to forgive, more out of obedience to the Lord than a deep love for the person. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling and I chose often, sometimes, several times a day. It took seven months before I felt release from the offense.
Though the person had not intended to hurt me by their action, it was nevertheless painful. It was a perceived offense but a very real hurt. Had I not obeyed God’s word to forgive, I would still be holding a grudge today.
Not all offenses are perceived, many offenses are intentional. Either way they hurt. Both perceived and intentional offenses need forgiving if we are to receive healing.
More Than a Business Deal
When we choose to forgive it doesn’t mean the offense or hurt wasn’t real. No-one is going to perform a lobotomy on our brain so we forget, but with healing from the Lord it will become a memory viewed from the side of victory. The offender does not have to do anything in order for us to forgive them, if they do, then it’s not real forgiveness on our part, rather it is a business deal.
I have heard people say that they won’t forgive because they cannot trust the person. News Alert! Forgiveness does not mean we have to trust the offender again. Sometimes trust can be rebuilt over time, but in some instances distance is best.
Father, help us learn to forgive quickly, like you. Heal our broken hearts and renew your spirit of gentleness and love in us. Help us to live in the light of your radiance and not in the darkness of unforgiveness. We can choose to forgive because we have been forgiven by you.
Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance
If you have found this post helpful, please share it with a friend who may need encouragement right now.
Photo Credit: Luca Bravo, Unsplash.
Wonderful, transparent post, full of wisdom. Thanks.
Just keeping it real Dorothy. Thanks for stopping by the blog.
Unforgiveness will haunt us until we die, I think. Pride flares its ugly head and makes it so hard. Agree totally that the key of forgiveness unlocks the solitary prison in which we bind ourselves. Good job, Helena!
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Sadly many will chose to not to forgive and remain in prison.
Thank you Cindy for stopping by the blog today, I appreciate your encouragement.
I pray almost daily for God to help me forgive someone. In His timing I will. I know how necessary it is! BUT I have to feel it in my heart & just not mouth the words.
I understand what you are saying about feeling it in your heart. So often we wait for those feelings before we chose to forgive and the feeling doesn’t come, or we simply bury the hurt under the carpet.
We choose to forgive as an act of obedience to the Lord, not because we feel like it or that the person deserves it. What I have found in my own life is that when I chose to forgive, when I go before the Lord and say “Father, I am choosing to forgive (name) for (offense), please forgive me for holding unforgiveness in my heart.” or words similar, the healing process in my heart starts right then. Satan may bring thoughts back to my mind time and time again and each time I stand on what is true; I had forgiven them before the Lord and that choice stands. It may be several weeks down the road when I realize I have not even thought of the offense or the person in a negative way….peace that’s the true feeling we get as the Lord heals our hurt.
I say all that to encourage you to act and not wait until you feel, because the feeling, the want to, will never come only deeper bondage into bitterness will result and life is too short to live it with a root of bitterness and unforgiveness. I lived that way for many years before I realized I could choose to forgive.
I hope and pray you found that helpful. If I can be of further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.