Many of us struggle with forgiveness. Forgiveness of others and ourselves. We struggle mainly because we do not understand fully what it means to forgive. We don’t understand the consequences of not forgiving. Even when it seems that our emotions are attacked, our character is questioned and our human right has been violated. Let’s not talk about feeling disrespected or what we perceive as disrespect. We become numb to the offenders. We stop talking to them and often times we want to curse them out or worse, do bodily harm. Sound familiar? Be honest.
I can tell you the truth. I have stepped out of the will of God on many occasions and in some cases willingly. I felt entitled to my feelings and my actions as a result of those feelings. My health issues and life in general pinched, stabbed and kicked me so hard caused me to forget who I am and Whose’s I am in Christ. I kept picking and pulling the scabs off of every emotional wound. I kept doing stage performances replaying every offense. It's ok because I am forgiven, I have forgiven and by His stripes I am healed. It is a choice to forgive. Your choice. I know it’s a choice because God gives us free will. He does not force His will upon us. God is standing close by watching and hearing and seeing. Nothing you or I do is hidden from our Almighty Lord. He is so Great and there is no one like Him.
Matthew 6 is a reminder of how we should pray and how we are to forgive. I want to point directly to verses 14-15 NLT - If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Think about that for a while. If you love God, don’t you want Him to forgive you, don’t you ask Him to forgive you when you make a mistakes? Well, it goes the same way in our forgiving of others. We do it or else.
Ephesians 4:32 NLT is also a reminder with this point, And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
This is why it is so important to forgive all offences and all offenders. YES ALL. Forgiving does not mean things will be the same. It also does not mean that you will forgive a person and you will all continue to live in harmony, no. It means you are releasing them and yourself from emotional and spiritual bondage. Forgiving is not necessarily for them, it is for you. Don’t be fooled, you can say it all day long but if you are not honestly seeking to forgive and feeling that in your heart, your forgiveness button will not work. It’s like the Staples Office Supply Store commercial, the button, push the button. Keep pushing the button on forgiveness.
You will become weak and powerless if you continue to hold onto things you cannot control. You will act out by hurting others unintentionally all for the sake of you trying to protect yourself. Satan wants you this way, in bondage and in strife. Satan’s attacks are real on your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. That snake wants you in bondage and isolated. Your emotional and spiritual bank will be over drafted and bankrupted if you hold on to all of that darkness. Your heart will become hardened and there lies a whole set of others issues that I will not get into here. You get my point I am sure.
Just know, there is a Savior to help you. He wants to protect you, love you and care for you. Jesus.
Meditate on these words and ask yourself if you are forgiving. Keep asking. Go back over your life and start forgiving everyone for everything and make sure you also include yourself in that forgiveness. You are that important.
Forgive and be forgiven.