We all have reasons not to forgive the person who has wronged us. Good reasons. After all their actions caused us pain, deep pain and may have changed the course of our lives for the worse. Meanwhile, the person responsible for our pain has moved on with life. When we examine the scars on our hearts left by someone, why should we forgive? Hereâ€™s the danger in holding unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is torture, on our minds, relationships and perspective. It destroys our perception of others and causes misplaced judgment to be cast. When we engage in unforgiveness, we embrace bitterness. This bitterness is cloaked on our countenance and anyone that gets close enough will come in contact with a bitter spirit. Eventually, we isolate ourselves from even those who love us most. The worse part of unforgiveness is it causes us to be a poor witness. We can not witness of a merciful Father while looking through lenses of unforgiveness.
In Matthew 18:20, Jesus instructs Peter to forgive and repeat as often as necessary. He goes on to tell us that the person who refuses to forgive from their heart and show mercy will be tortured until they repay their debt. See we all owe, we are all indebt to the Father. We have and will all be seeking forgiveness for our trespasses. God has designed the model of forgiveness in such a way that we are dependent on each other, even those who trespass against us. We all need mercy and are instructed in Proverbs 3; to bind mercy and truth around our necks and write it upon our hearts so WE can find favor in God’s sight. Look at mercy. Look at the beauty of mercy; it’s gentleness, kindness and peaceable way. Mercy stretches it self wide, creating a veil between our sins and us. When we operate in mercy, we are really showing God how thankful we are that He forgave US OUR SINS!
How will you know that you have really forgiven someone? Your heart won’t feel sorry for them, pitying them. That is a stand of self-righteousness and arrogance. It says that you have attained something that is not available to them. On the contrary, your heart will SEEK to extend mercy to them, showing them the mercy that God extended to you. Forgiveness is a process that must be approached sincerely with total concentration. The expected outcome should be that you totally release the incident and situation from the courtroom of your mind. How can we truly forgive then?
allow yourself to hurt. Whether that’s replaying the situation in your mind, or outloud. Personally acknowledge your hurt and acknowledge what the other person did was wrong and you didn’t deserve it. Don’t hang around people who keep reminding you of your hurt. This will stop your progress. Get away from them and stay away until you have truly forgiven.
Second, stand on the other side of your hurt. Step away from that part of your life. Decide that this happened to you, but it is not the sum total of who you are, or want to be. On the other side, be reminded of your own sins and the forgiveness that you once sought and will seek in the future.
Every hurt that you feel God will judge, Jesus has felt and the Holy Spirit can comfort!
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21:4, NIV
While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can control how we respond. See this situation as a stepping-stone to your growth in Christ.
“The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? ” Ps. 118: 6 NIV
Third, I was taught to “Save early and Save often” when working on my computer. I try to adopt the same mind set when it comes to forgiving. Forgive early and forgive often. This mentality helps to ward off the spirit of bitterness and embrace the spirit of mercy.
When we are quick to recognize and release a trespass, we can expect the same from God. His love does not come with strings attached!
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:28 - NIV
Extend mercy and mercy will come back to you! Be Encouraged!
Kira McConico’s universal assignment is to deliver encouragement to the hopeless through her Assigned To Encourage! ™ Words are powerful and can be spoken into dark times and bring light to life's situations. In addition, Kira is an inspirational speaker. Her target audience is young women ages 17-30. She frequently speaks at area schools, domestic violence shelters and other organizations to encourage young women to pursue their dreams no matter their past. While her target audience is young women, the message of encouragement is for everyone! For booking information visit: www.assignedtoencourage.com.
All written materials are the original work of the author. Copyright restricted. All rights reserved. Scripture is taken from the Holy Bible various versions.
Be Encouraged is a publication of Assigned to Encourage!™ Design and layout provided courtesy of Integrity Designs
The dangers in not forgiving can lead to bitterness and torture.