Monday, November 7, 2011

Forgiveness - It's not always simple, but always necessary.

This past weekend, i heard some disturbing news about someone that i have admired for more years that i could remember - or even if i could remember probably wouldn't admit. I have dealt with feelings or hurt, betrayal, disappointment, anger. You get the picture. I had been in a funk the majority of the weekend. I've prayed about this situation off & on all weekend, but this morning, i was able to turn it all over to God. I've quit having questions of "why" & "how could he". I still feel betrayed, but am peaceful about it now.

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to achieve without God's strength. It doesn't come easily for most of us. We have a natural instinct of self-protection. Protection from hurt feelings, anger, confusion, betrayal, etc. We aren't naturally full of mercy, grace, & forgiveness when we are disappointed or feel wronged. But God has commanded us:

"Forgive as the Lord forgave you"
Colossians 3:13a (NIV)

How do we forgive? Forgiveness is a choice we make that is motivated by obedience to God. We need to forgive by faith, out of obedience - whether we feel like it or not. We need to surrender our feelings to God, ask Him, & trust Him to do the work in us that needs to be done to forgive. 

"being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

How do you know if you have really forgiven? Corrie ten Boom is quoted as saying, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, & to realize the prisoner was you." I think that we know that forgiveness is complete when we experience freedom from the betrayal. That the betrayal really doesn't matter to us anymore.

I have found that prayer is the best way to breakdown the wall of unforgiveness. Before i started writing today, i prayed - again - about the situation that has been eating at me. God gave me new eyes to view this situation with. And a new heart to care for that person. I am not without sin & i know that God forgives me. And although it is perfectly normal to feel anger toward sin & injustice, it's not our job to judge.

"Do not judge, & you will not be judges. Do not condemn, & you will not be condemned. Forgive & you will be forgiven."
Luke 6:37 (NIV)

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in Heaven may for give your sins."
Mark 11:25 (NIV)

Yesterday morning, on Facebook, a friend posted this:
Anyone can hold a grudge by it takes a person with character to forgive. When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden. Forgiveness doesn't mean what happened was ok & it doesn't mean that person should still be welcome in your life. It just means you have made peace with the pain & are ready to let go."

I'm ready to let go. I hope & pray that you are too.


  1. Thanks for being so transparent and letting us, your readers, benefit from what the Lord is showing you. I really appreciate this blog post, especially the "How to know if you've really forgiven". I seem to forgive over and over again trying to accomplish that.
    Thanks a bunch!

  2. Aw thanks Joy. And forgiving over & over again is part of the process also. <3 <><

  3. Very good post. Forgiveness is often so very hard, but we must be forgiving. So much meat here, I will need to think on some of these things...thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Thank you Zuda! It was somewhat of a hard message this week, especially with the feelings that i was processing. We do need to chew the meat before we get the nourishment. =) <><