Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Forgiveness




What does it mean to forgive?  I mean really REALLY truly forgive?

This past weekend I had a awesome opportunity to be a part of our annual Church women's retreat.  The theme...Forgiveness.  I knew this weekend was going to be an emotional one--because forgiveness is something I struggle with.

It's not like I have this long list of people to forgive, or vice versa....But I do have these deep seeded issues with a few, that I have chosen to bury away...maybe sorta hoping the issues would just dissolve and disappear.

For so long I have felt that I had a right to not forgive those who have gone out of their way to hurt me.  I felt why SHOULD I HAVE TO FORGIVE THEM??
    Colossians 3:13 
    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. 
    Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

    I didn't WANT to forgive!  I was justified in my anger towards those jerks in my life!  It was THEM with all the problems!

    Or so I thought!
This weekend thought me an important lesson.
    When I forgive, I'm not letting someone off the hook....Instead I am freeing myself from the pain, hurt, bitterness and resentment....I am releasing the "hooks" the person had in me.
    Matthew 6:14-16 
    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.
I hadn't realized how much un-forgiveness has affected me.  Holding onto resentment has literally drained me...and it wasn't until I really REALLY gave these issues to God, that I began to see how truly freeing it was to let it all go!
    I set myself free to experience peace and fulfillment. The power of forgiveness is truly amazing.
I have NO idea where I got the idea that NOT forgiving those in my past helped ME!  Did NOT forgiving them somehow get me to think that THEY were the ones who suffered?

I have actually uttered the words..."I'll NEVER forgive them!"  While I am busy resenting them and believing "I'm the right one".....Who's REALLY the one suffering?  Losing sleep?  Dealing with knots in my stomach?

The whole point of forgiveness isn't saying "I agree with what you did"....It's simply giving up the power and control and releasing that power to God....Then watching how God uses that power to turn it into something positive.
 
You don't forgive people for THEIR benefit.  You do it for YOUR benefit!

If you are holding onto resentment or anger....Release it.  Truly Release it!  Watch the power of God work!  You don't have to go to the person and tell them you forgive them (although this can be a powerful tool to your healing) But you DO have to completely let go of all the negative feelings -- then replace them with something Godly!

Life is too short to stay angry.  I challenge you....To go to someone who has hurt you...Release yourself from the prison of un-forgiveness.

THRIVE ON!



5 comments:

  1. Tabetha EspenscheidMay 1, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    i saw this on my facebook feed.. it was almost like i was meant to see it cause i really needed to rite now. i want to forgive. i dont think i know how. you cant just go to someone and say i forgive you.. you have to feel it in your heart and idk how to do that. thatnks for the post though it made me think about the past few days of my life.

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    1. The thing is...YOU CAN choose to forgive. The power is yours and its a choice. MY choice was to hang on to all the crap...Then, I chose to not....Im not saying it's an easy thing to do...But then again, its not easy to hang onto the crap either....

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  2. Kristi, this is a powerful message that people need to hear! I have held back forgiveness from a particular person. For decades, her voice tortured my spirit with lies. I finally realized that it was Satan speaking those lies to me and that I had to forgive her to stop hearing them. I believe she was intentional in the things she said and did, but in some twisted way, she thought she was right. Just recognizing that I am not immune to that problem, allowed me to forgive. The verse you cited spoke to me, as well. How cannot I expect forgiveness when I am unwilling to give it? Long story short, I actually traveled to specifically forgive this woman and I have not heard her voice in my head since! Praise God for his mercy. I pray that you experience the same freedom!

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  3. WOOO!!! This is great. :) You ROCK!! ;)

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  4. In Jesus (Christ), amen!

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