Do you feel that you are not being treated the way you should? Do you sometimes question why? I have been there, you are not alone.
You cannot afford to put so much energy into hating someone else. So when you forgive them, it is not about them, it is about YOU! When you do forgive that person, there is a cord that you will have to cut between the both of you. You can pray for them and love them, but be careful when you let the person into your life again so that you don’t repeat the same mistake.
What does the bible say about forgiveness? Well in Colossians 3 verse 13 it says “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you“. The act of forgiving does not come easy for most of us. Our natural instinct is to recoil in self-protection when we’ve been injured. We don’t naturally overflow with mercy, grace and understanding when we’ve been wronged.
Is forgiveness a conscious choice?
Is it a physical act involving the will?
Is it a feeling?
Is it an emotional state of being?
These are so many questions that could be running through your mind right now…but you need to remember that some people are not worth losing your blessings over. Just because you find it hard to forgive, you have to remember that you are responsible for your blessings, so if it is taking you years to forgive your neighbor for what they had done to you over 5 years ago, remember that your blessings will be on hold. This is something that I had to learn also. I too am learning, everyday. When I wake up, when I go to work, when I get home, I learn to free myself from the stage of bitterness and resentment. What is unforgiveness really doing to you? Is it making your life any better or is it making you bitter? It does take a lot of FAITH to forgive, and once you build upon that Faith, you can sit back and see how God will bless you. People who doubted you won’t undermine you because the blessings are continual.
I will give an example. When the Jewish religious leaders crucified Jesus on the cross, they used disrespectful language and challenged Him that if He was really the Son of God, He should come down from the Cross and save himself. He was thirsty and they gave Him vinegar to drink. Imagine your enemy giving you vinegar to drink, or disrespecting you as they did to Jesus. What AMAZED me even more was the HUMBLE ATTITUDE Jesus had towards these Jews. Despite their rudeness and pride, Jesus still said “Father forgive them, for they do NOT know what they are doing”…how many of us, including myself can really forgive our enemies?
In other words, Luke 11 verse 4 explains it clearly ” And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil“.
It’s the way in which God said forgive us of OUR OWN SINS as we forgive others who hurt us as well. Some of you may ask, but how do you forgive? Well, the reason why people find it hard to forgive is that they are controlled by their ‘feelings’. This should not be so. Remind yourself that FORGIVENESS IS NOT A FEELING, IT IS A DECISION. So in other words, God commanded that we forgive one another just as He constantly forgives us. If we were to count the amount of sin(s) we commit every day, it cannot be compared to the amount of forgiveness God has poured upon our lives. For God to wake you up everyday out of your bed, is a gift that no man can give! So when God gives you another opportunity to live, allow forgiveness to flow throughout your day, and eventually, you will see change for the better.
Do not perceive forgiveness as a weakness. FORGIVENESS IS NOT A WEAKNESS! Do not get that mistaken. Only people who are ‘led’ by feelings would classify forgiveness as a weakness. If you are not classified by weakness, please keep reading. Forgiveness gives you the power to control your life! It is not about allowing others to control you, so do not allow anybody to change your mood. Feelings can be a dangerous thing when used unwisely. If it is used unwisely, you are giving people the power to change your mood whenever they feel like it. So when they do something to you, whether it’s reminding you of your past, our your health, or something that is personal to you, you have to take that power back from them and remind yourself that you are going to bring the control back into your life.
Forgiveness is a daily medicine that must be taken regularly. Just like when you take tablets for headaches, or medicine for sore throats, taking forgiveness is the most quickest and effective solution to set you FREE! It makes you well and helps you grow physically, spiritually, mentally, academically and emotionally. Your decision to forgiveness makes it obey you, if you are willing enough to let go of the pain in your heart. Forgiveness starts from the heart. You have a choice whether to forgive or not. Not only that, your emotions are like trees that controls your behavior. You can always say to someone ‘I forgive you’, and it will eventually allow your emotions to be cast into the sea.
But when you do say ‘I forgive you’ to someone, MEAN IT! Let them also see it in your eyes that you truly do let go of the past, so that they too can be free. Your blessing can be disrupted because of the grief you give to someone else. Some people think that not forgiving someone will punish them and make them feel guilty. Well actually you are revealing that to yourself. You will feel even more guilty if you do not forgive. Your emotions have been exalted above your decisions, until your emotions LET GO! Your emotions are running you, but you are not running it…
Resist the devil and he will flee! (James 4 verse 7). There is power in forgiveness! It enables the enemy to run quick! As you kill your feelings, you are also killing the enemies plans against your life. Kill your feelings, and forgiveness will be your LOVER! You will never feel forgiven until you LEARN HOW TO FORGIVE. Yes you were raised behind people holding grudges, you may have been talked about, and you may have been in an environment where lack of forgiveness grew in. But remind yourself that you are a ‘product’ of your environment. So you have the choice to use what you have to forgive. Nothing comes cheap in this life, so use forgiveness to the best of its ability, and you will eventually see the value of it spring to life.
Other reasons why people find it hard to forgive others is because they are condemning themselves. God loves you regardless of what you have done. All you have to do is just open up to Him because He has a wonderful plan for your life. You also have to pray constantly that God will remove ALL the tools that the enemy has used against you to forgive. And yes, it does not happen overnight…we are all WORK IN PROCESSES!
NOTE: Forgiveness is not for the weak. Being able to forgive those who have wronged you is a mark of Spiritual Strength and Confidence. When you forgive, you grow, your heart begins to heal, your back straightens up, your eyes clear so that you can see the road ahead. Anger is a spiritual sickness, but when you forgive, you LIVE!