Tuesday, November 5, 2013
This past week gone the Lord has been dealing with me quite abit on the topic of "Forgiveness"
I have always thought of myself as being a very forgiving person. In fact I simply can not hold a grudge for any length of time. When I have been wronged by another person then I will first be angry, then hurt feelings settle in and finally I am ready to let it go.
Sometimes it takes a little time to pass between each of these stages before I get to the point that I can let it go and sometimes I can move quickly through each one. I guess it just depended on Who wronged me and What was done and How long I thought about it.
What I have discovered through the years about myself is that the longer I got held up thinking about it was the longer it took me to get over it and put it behind me. Maybe some of you can relate?
I also discovered that no matter how badly I have been wronged by another the moment that the other party said "I'm sorry" then I am more than ready to "kiss and make up". Whatever they did to me is gone; out the window, over, forgotten! Which is not always a good thing- especially if the other party didn't really mean they were sorry or they turned around and did it again .. and again...
I need to learn to look to the Lord to discern each situation and though I may forgive all- I don't always have to allow all to remain part of my life. Sometimes it's ok to just simply forgive and then move on without the other person. The Bible does tell us to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) but it doesn't say that we need to be a whipping post. Know what I mean?
Read Romans 12:19 and Romans 13:4
I don't like conflict. I don't like being angry and I certainly do not like walking around with my feelings hurt. I love it when I get to the stage of being able to let - a wrong that was done to me - go and move on. I always feel so much better when I am out from under the weight.
So; when I look at all these things I realized that the Lord wants me to advance and grow to the place that no matter what is going on I am Not going to go through ANY stages. To just simply forgive the wrong; accept it as part of life and move on and allow Him to deal with it when He is ready to.
To get to the point that upon accepting that a wrong has been done to me, Not allow it to have any power over me. I am not going to get angry about it. I am not going to allow it to hurt my feelings. I am simply going to forgive it and move on and allow the Lord - in His perfect timing - to make it right for me.
And if I simply must get angry and I simply must allow it to hurt my feelings (because we are still imperfect human beings sometimes we simply must do things) to at least limit the amount of time that I spend feeling like that to the absolute minimum.
Instead of waiting around hoping for a speedy conclusion to anger, to hurt feelings and finally to letting go and moving on- I am going to start in my mind and make a conscious decision to just let it go and move on. In other words; I am going to pass "GO" and I am going to "COLLECT my $200" worth of Monopoly money and keep playing the game.
Emotions start in your head and eventually makes it's way down into your heart. The Bible says it this way "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45, Matthew 12:34),
Whatever you are carrying around in your heart is what is going to come out of your mouth. If it is anger then you are going to speak angry words. If it is hurt feelings then you are going to speak from that hurt and if it is forgiveness then you are going to speak from a place of love.
What you allow to make it's way into your heart is what you are going to speak out of your mouth. That is 100% your decision and your responsibility. No one but you can dictate what you choose to allow into your head to ponder on and mull over.
Think about that for a moment.
What are you allowing into your heart?
I love the way Paul says it in Ephesians 4:1-3:
"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".
Maybe some of you are also struggling with the issue of Forgiveness. If so then I encourage you to continue reading. make up your mind today that when you have been wronged that you will make the conscious decision in your mind to Forgive the person that wronged you. Keep telling yourself that you forgive them until you get to the place that it is in your heart. Only then will you discover the "bond of peace" that Paul speaks of.
God Bless You in the Reading of the Word!
Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses"
Jesus gives a startling warning about forgiveness: If we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. Why? Because when we don't forgive others, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God's forgiveness.
God's forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. It is easy to ask God for forgiveness, but difficult to grant it to others.
Whenever we ask God to forgive us for sin, we should ask ourselves, "Have I forgiven the people who have wronged me?"
If not then perhaps it is time that you did.