After a really amazing and timely sermon at our church this past Sunday morning, I have been contemplating the act of forgiveness. We all have bumps, bruises and scrapes on our lives from others who have hurt us. But, some of us have deep, deep wounds that are woven into the make up of who we are. We have a choice of what to do with these wounds...will we let them fester and continue to bleed into our everyday lives, how we live and the person we will become? or will we let go of the hurt that has been forced into our lives and live a life of freedom in Christ, the One who painted to perfect picture of forgiveness for us?
As I’ve talked with a friend about the need for forgiveness in her life, it’s brought one of my greatest scars to mind...it’s made me think about the process I went through to get to the point that I am at in my life. The Lord has brought healing, but it has not come easily...and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that a little “band-aid” is needed from time to time. I found as I was praying over and reflecting through what I had found forgiveness to be, that the easiest way to define it was just listing things out. I pray that if you are at a point in your life where you are dealing with a broken or damaged relationship, that you would take these words to heart. It may seem easiest to move on with your life without that person or issue being resolved, but there are chains and bondage that come along with that choice. It's been in my experience that those things can greatly hinder your walk with the Lord, and your ability to serve others in His name. Seek the freedom we have through Christ's forgiveness for us in the relationships in your own life...
-An on going process, sometime weekly, daily, hourly...
-A commandment from the God we serve.
-Inviting peace into our lives
-Freedom from the captivity that other’s actions can have on our lives
-We are given the perfect example of what it should look like through Christ’s death.
-It’s limitless, boundless, unending and full of grace....all these things can only take place when we ourselves have accepted forgiveness from Him.- Then, and only then, we can rely on Him to help up in forgiving others.
-Oftentimes a one-sided “transaction”- It cannot be dependent on whether or not an apology or forgiveness is asked in return.
-It must be a decision and an attitude that you purpose in your heart, regardless of the response, or lack of response, it may elicit.
-Forgiveness is an attitude, it’s a way of life.
-Forgiveness is getting to a place where you can let go. Yes, it is an ongoing process, but when you truly forgive you get to the point where it no longer dictates how you live your life, how you feel about life, and how you serve others.
-Forgiveness is a choice to love- without condition.
-We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.
On of the most influential women of God in my life once said this, after surviving years in a Nazi Concentration Camp..
"Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." – Corrie Ten Boom
...just let go...let Him steady your heart, as you strive to live after His perfect example!
Here's a new song by Kari Jobe that was a great encouragement to my heart as I thought about all I wanted to share with this special friend through this post...hope that it's a blessing to you too!
"We are to forgive so that we may enjoy God's goodness without feeling the weight of anger burning deep within our hearts. Forgiveness does not mean we recant the fact that what happened to us was wrong. Instead, we roll our burdens onto the Lord and allow Him to carry them for us." -- Charles Stanley, Landmines in the Path of the Believer