Forgiveness, it works for me ☺
A WFMW Tip On What NEVER To Do
Now, on a lighter or rather more bloated note.
I love bean soup and I made calico bean and ham soup. I was raised on this soup and we always ate it with cornbread. I was asked to make this soup for our women’s gathering at church so I made a pot full. I ate it that night at the meeting. I ate it the next morning for breakfast. I skipped lunch and ate a bowl and a half for supper.
Do NOT ever eat 3 1/2 bowls of bean soup in a 24 hour period.
Suffice it to say if someone lit a match in my bedroom last night,
it would have gone up it flames.
My tummy is still churning and … you can just imagine the rest ☻
Please visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.
I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. Acts 26:18, Isaiah 42:7, 16
Just what is forgiveness? Webster’s dictionary defines forgiveness as “to give up resentment against the desire to punish; to stop being angry; to pardon; to give up all claim to punish; to overlook; to cancel a debt; to absolve.
But it is so much more than that. Forgiveness is an act of mercy and an act of kindness for we are releasing the person into God’s hands.
Total forgiveness. Maybe to better understand what it is, we’ll start with what forgiveness is not. It is not something we hold on to and bring up when we feel it will serve us. It is not peace. It is not love. It is not kindness or mercy. It does not exude a spirit of grace, blessing and dignity.
When we do not forgive we are giving the person(s) who offended and hurt us undo power over us. Un-forgiveness causes stress and even illness. Un-forgiveness steals our peace of mind and causes us to blame others for the sorrow and pain in our lives. It also causes guilt feelings because when we do not forgive we are tying the hands of God and our relationship with God becomes compromised.
Un-forgiveness is also an act of cruelty because we are indifferent to the feelings of others and our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Un-forgiveness makes us ruthless creatures and brings disfavor and disharmony with the Holy Spirit and it can also effect how we treat others we love. Un-forgiveness spreads and festers.
The Bible tells us that we grieve and hurt the Holy Spirit by not forgiving. We inflict undo pain upon our Heavenly Father. We cannot expect the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit to be active and working in and through our lives if we do not forgive. In fact, many of us go through our daily lives acting as if we have nothing to forgive, yet when something goes wrong or something triggers a memory we find we are angry, stressed or depressed and oftentimes we cannot even explain why. But, it is because we have harbored these feelings of resentment and anger for so long that they have become familiar to us, a part of who we are and we need to change.
Un-forgiveness affects every aspect of our lives: Our spiritual and physical health, our relationships, our job and so much more.
“And not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:30-32
Forgiveness leads to healing of the body, mind and spirit. Forgiveness helps us to release love toward the person(s) who hurt us plus (I just love the bonus’ God gives us!) our relationship with God and others becomes so much stronger, so much more intimate and pure. There is an amazing amount of power in forgiveness. Our God given ability to receive healing, both for you and others, is hindered when we have unforgiveness in our hearts. But, when we totally forgive, healing is a natural result. This is an exciting concept!
“Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to them, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.” Matthew 9:1-8
We need to be like our Heavenly Father, “as we forgive others, as God forgives us.” The more we forgive, the more God forgives us. The less we forgive, the less we are forgiven. We are to love our enemies. We are to pray for our enemies. We are to release our enemies into God’s hands. This is a command from our Heavenly Father.
There is so much hate and un-forgiveness in the world today. Can you imagine if all the people you knew got together and prayed for forgiveness for what happened during 9-11, what power that would release for God’s hand to work upon not just our nation but upon nations of the world? We are to love our enemies. It is a command from God.
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer them the other also. And from him, who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. “
“And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6: 27-28, 33-36.
Our society teaches many falsehoods in regards to forgiveness and one is that the person(s) is to show us a sign that they are sorry. This is a powerful falsehood and make sure you understand this concept: we are not to wait for someone to show us a sign that they are repentant and sorry for the wrong they did to us. There is no waiting! Waiting causes un-forgiveness to fester and grow like an ugly boil in our soul. This is a falsehood and a lie conjured up by the king of lies. We are commanded to forgive, period. There are no conditions. Jesus forgave from the cross then they divided up his clothes. He did not wait for the Centurions to ask for his forgiveness. He did not wait for them to act a little sorry. He just forgave.
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34
We have all been given the ministry of reconciliation. We have all been giving the ability to freely forgive, to come together in peace and unity. This is why Jesus was sent to us. Not only so that we will not go to hell when we die, but also so that we can be reconciled to God in this life. We are all new creatures in Christ. We all are welcomed into the presence of God for fellowship and intimacy with the Father.
We cannot judge others and try to second-guess people. We cannot bear burdens that belong to God. We cannot hold on to wrong done to us by others as this spirit of un-forgiveness eats at our souls and steals from us true fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
For many years un-forgiveness was a constant part of my life. In fact it became comfortable to me, an old wine skin. It had infected my soul, my body, and my spirit. I had no true joy in my life and definitely no peace of mind. But slowly God would bring to mind this ungodly spirit and ask me to deal with it. The more I prayed to be closer to God, the more God would remind me of the un-forgiveness in my heart.
It was not easy for me to forgive and it did not happen in just one day. In fact, because the pain inflicted on me was such a horrid act, it took a long, long time. I can truly say today that I have forgiven and that my relationship with God is a close and pure one.
This does not mean that things never arise, that pain in never inflicted but forgiveness comes so much easier to me now as does my knowing when to ask for forgiveness. Because this act of forgiving was a long process for me, I know in my heart that the Lord, through this progression taught me how to forgive. He taught me to recognize in myself the ungodly spirit of un-forgiveness. If my flesh attempts to hold on to a grudge or complaint the Lord deals with me swiftly and I submit and forgive. I have no right to hold on to grudges. I have no right to condemn or judge. I have no right to hold onto wrongs inflicted for when I do so I inflict pain in return. I tie God’s hands.
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
When we forgive others, when we forgiven those who have sinned against us, we give our Heavenly Father the power to work miracles in the other person’s life! I have personally seen many people come to know Go
d because they have been forgiven. I have seen family healed, relationships restored, bodies healed. Forgiveness is exciting!
Many of us have been taught the Lord’s Prayer. Most of us learned this prayer as young children but do we really understand the power of this prayer, which is the power of the Words of God?
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed (Holy, set apart) be Your name.
Your kingdom (has) come. Your will (spirit, force) be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts (crimes, offense, failings, wrongdoing, mischief, sins, witchery, rebellion, resentments), As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation (enticement, bribery, lure, seductions, inducements – when we submit to temptation we repulse the Holy Spirit), But deliver us from the evil one (Demonic power, Satan). For if you forgive men their trespasses (disobedience, sin, violation), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:9-15
We have all been given the ministry of reconciliation. This is why Jesus was sent to us. Not only so that we will not go to hell when we die, but also so that we can be reconciled to God in this life. We are all new creatures in Christ. We all are welcomed into the presence of God for fellowship and intimacy with the Father.
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled (yielded) us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation (forgiveness that is a promise), 19that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses (sins) to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5: 16-19
There are several types of forgiveness. There is a disconnected forgiveness, where no true reconciliation takes place. You may act as if the offense did not really bother you that much but most likely it is eating at your body, soul and spirit.
Another is an incomplete forgiveness where you put boundaries and conditions on the offender and may go as far as to set terms upon the person. “I will forgive you if…”. Often times manipulation may be used and we may also make the person feel much worse than they did to begin with. It can also backfire and make the offender very anger and cause an even large wedge (think Hatfield vs. McCoy’s). On the other hand the relationship may be somewhat restored but true friendship and intimacy are not restored.
The last is full forgiveness. This is where there are no longer any negative feelings, the relationship is fully restored if you so desire and if God is truly involved, the relationship may even be stronger than ever before. If restoration is not wanted or needed you can rest assured that your relationship with your Heavenly Father will be stronger than ever.
I want to clarify what forgiveness is and isn’t. Forgiveness is not an approval of the wrong that has been done to you. God hates sin. When Jesus caught the woman in adultery in John 8, he forgave her and told her to leave her life of sin. To repent of sin does not mean that you are sorry, it means that you are walking away from a life of sin. It means you turn away from sin and turn toward God.
Forgiveness does not mean that you are excusing their action or covering for their sin. We do not try to explain why they did what they did and we do not endorse evil. There is no, “but they can’t help it”. Yes, they can and if they need more help, God can help them. By forgiving them, you are placing them into God’s mighty hands.
Forgiving does not give us the right to justify or deny the persons actions or turn a blind eye to the evil. It does not give us the right to pretend we were not hurt. Evil can never be justified. Sin cannot be explained away and in the same way to deny or refuse to come to terms with the action will only result in the spirit of un-forgiveness growing and festering in our spirit.
Forgiveness requires us to come face to face with the wrong done to us. Repressing or pretending we are not hurt or justifying the harm done to us cannot heal the wound. Often times, pretending, justifying and even more so denying the wrong done to us can affect us physically by causing unexplained feelings of stress, depression, and other physical ailments. One of the leading causes of heart attack is stress. God is grieved over sin. It is absurd to think we should have to keep an attitude of restrain during a time of adversity when we have been injured.
Forgiveness is not the same as granting the person a pardon. To pardon someone is a legal matter. The only one who can pardon a sin is God. If a person murders someone they need to pay their debt (man’s law) and you need to forgive them (God’s law).
To forgive someone does not always lead to reconciliation. You can forgive someone without being reconciled to him or her. Reconciliation requires two people; forgiveness only requires action on your part. If you have been sexually molested by someone you most likely will not want to maintain a relationship with that person. If someone stole from you but they have died, therefore you cannot speak to them about the offense, but you can forgive them.
Lastly, is saying we have forgotten the wrong done to us and even more so, refusing to take the wrong seriously. This is unrealistic. It is a greater demonstration of God’s grace when we are fully aware of what occurred and we still choose to forgive. Often the way back to full healing and mental soundness is to try to remember everything in detail. You cannot eliminate deep hurts as though they never happened to you. The plain, unmitigated truth is, that they did happen. But even if we cannot totally forget, we can still choose not to remember and we must not dwell on them. When the memory comes to mind, pass it on to God.
Now, that we understand a little more about what forgiveness is not, let’s refresh ourselves on what forgiveness truly is.
Forgiveness is being fully aware of the wrong done to you and still forgiving them. It is keeping no record of the wrongs done to you. There is no place for bitterness, not place to hold a grudge. Tear up that diary and burn that journal! Forgiveness means that you will in no way try to punish, manipulate or control the person. Forgiveness is being gracefully and merciful to the one who harmed you. True forgiveness comes from a forgiving heart.
Forgiveness also includes forgiving God, as often we believe God in his omnipotent power should have prevented wrong being done to us. And lastly, we must forgive ourselves for wrongs we have done. In fact, if we hold onto un-forgiveness we can easily fall into sin ourselves. True intimacy with God can only be had when we forgive ourselves as well as others. If you have been holding on to un-forgiveness in your heart be sure and ask God to forgive you and rest assured he will.
Forgiving others often requires baby steps. First be friendly when you are around them, often there is no need to tell anyone of the wrongdoing. Talk to them in a kind manner that lets them know you are open to reconciliation if this is your goal. Help them to feel good about themselves. Do this every time you see them. And most importantly pray for them and enjoy the sense of relief that comes when the burden is totally and completely lifted into God’s hands.
Forgiveness can be exciting. It can give us a new lease on life, a new intimacy with God and a new and better you!
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” Ephesian 1: 7-10
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For all you book lovers I just bumped into a new-to-me blogger, Jessica at The Literary Haunt. She is currently dissecting Harry Potter. Run on over and check it out.