That is a tough question to answer, how do you forgive?
Do you hold a record of wrongs?
Do you offer grace?
I know I forgive, but forgetting is difficult for me. I feel like I should remember it to keep my defenses up to be prepared for the next time it happens. While being cautious is good, I don’t think my method is the best.
In my devotion today, I read Luke 17:4, “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent’, you must forgive them. “
Seven times in a day! I feel like I would go cold toward someone after the second, if I made it there. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum I expect forgiveness for my mistakes no matter how numerous. It is really making me think, I should offer grace and forgiveness every time. I will definitely be working on this in the near future.
Although I know it is wrong to harbor unforgiveness, it is a human reaction, almost a defense mechanism. My Mom has said all of my life that when you hold onto unforgiveness the only person you are hurting is yourself because you are giving them control of your life. Hard to hear but oh so true. When we are mad at someone they consume our thoughts, we think of how wrong they have done us and that we didn’t deserve it, bla, bla, bla. You know the routine, right there, they are controlling the direction of our minds and most likely our attitude which will trickle down to those all around us.
So, chose to forgive even when you don’t want to. Really forgive, let go of hate and unforgiveness in your heart. It is for you just as much as your offender.
My preacher said something a few weeks ago that I have thought over and it is a hard, but a true fact. “You can’t be offended and have God.” That is so true, you have to strap on your big shoes and get over it. Life is too short to spend it wrapped up in drama. Don’t be so easily offended, don’t go around looking for it, you will find it and it will rob you of joy and freedom.
Each day I pray before I begin my blog that I say exactly what God wants me to, that He speak right through me and I agree to be willing. Even if I share things I don’t want to, it’s not about me. So I say this and then sometimes wrestle with what He wants me to say, because I think I don’t really want to share that, but it’s not about me I must take my own advice, put my big girl shoes and get over it! So here goes!
When I was in college, I was a bit of a wildcat. My friends and I seriously referred to ourselves as that, and we filled the shoes. We were wild, simply put. We did everything in excess, from drinking, to spending, to partying, to dabbling in things that we knew we shouldn’t but did anyway.
One night, things got majorly out of hand and I put myself in a position for hurt and it found me. I was taken advantage of sexually, I passed out and was apparently free for the taking. I of course woke up and put a stop to it, but it did something to me. It started something in me that was no good, oh I hated this person. I held onto my hatred and anger for sometime, it wasn’t too long after this that Allen and I started dating. Oh, he hated him, we couldn’t go out for fear of what he would do if we ran into him. It controlled my life for too long, then I finally went through the process of forgiveness. I waited too long, I held onto so many emotions. Guilt for putting myself in that position, shame for what had happened to me, hatred for mean boys!
Looking back, it grosses me out that I let something like this control me for so long. It entered my new marriage, it was just a nasty fact that for a long time that I let define me. I was a victim, when I finally let it go it was like , ahhh! God took that from me, I don’t hardly think of it anymore. It is not part of my victory, it is just a piece of my past. What Satan intended to destroy me, God is using for good.
So, don’t hold onto unforgiveness one more second, start writing your story. The victorious one! He will use it for His good in His time. Let’s don’t be easily offended, let God rule in our hearts.
Choose forgiveness, choose love!
Let’s do this!