Truth About Forgiveness
Mark 11:25 "But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too." (NLT)
I've had someone I love very much who has attacked my character, told lies about me and has hurt me in so many ways and yet I still forgave them. But each time I forgave them they would do it again. And the unsettling thing is --- I have done so much for this person when they were in jail, I've given this person a place to stay (FREE including meals), I've given them money without asking them to pay it back, yet this person despises me because of material possession.
It hurts that they don't recognize what I've done for them and refuse to forgive me for the minor things I've done and yet the very person who put them in jail and practically ruined their life --- they forgive!
And although, I say I forgive them... deep down I know I don't. Instead I just choose to distance myself from them. As long as they're out of my life then everything is good right?
Wrong!!! Yes, it's okay to distance ourselves, especially when people keep bringing us down instead of helping us to grow. If they keep causing us to leave our spiritual realm then we should get away from them. We should never stay around someone who mentally, emotionally, or physically abuses us. But we still need to forgive them. We cannot allow the unforgiveness to harbor inside us. Otherwise it will become like a cancerous cell and spread.
So what can you do when someone has hurt you so badly and after you've done the right thing and forgiven them, you still feel uneasy about things? I'm discovering that we can do the right thing even if it still feels wrong. Doing the right thing is doing what God requires us to do. But it feels wrong because it's our "flesh" that's trying to convince us to follow our "feelings". By faith, we can turn to God and ask Him to heal us of our feelings and emotions so that we may be made whole again.
Only God's Power can change how we feel towards someone who has hurt us. And He will if we are sincere about wanting to forgive them.
When we decide to forgive those who have hurt us and done a great injustice to us, we must bless them and pray for them. (Luke 6:28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. -NLT)
Now I don't have too much problems praying for those who have hurt me. I'm reminded of when Jesus said, "Bless them Father for they know not what they do."
But to bless them? The word "bless" actually means "to speak well of ". So I'm expected to speak well of the person who has caused me tremendous pain? Yes, that's right. That's when you know you have truly forgiven them. When you pray and bless them, that's when you will be able to move on because you have shown mercy to those who don't deserve it.
That is truly living Christ-like. After all, did God show mercy on us by forgiving us our sins? Does He not show mercy everytime we sin and we repent to Him for His forgiveness?
But it isn't that easy. We are so much into the flesh that sometimes we have a false sense of right and wrong. We think that if we weren't in the wrong then we aren't the ones who need to freely forgive -- that the offender needs to earn our forgiveness. Or we are so high up on our ego that even if someone does apologize or seek our forgiveness we refuse to give it to them because we feel they don't deserve it.
That's when we need to really turn to God for His help. When need to ask Him for strength and compassion to show mercy and forgiveness just as He has done for us.
We need to remember what Jesus has taught us. What we have done to Him and how He still forgave us and ask our Heavenly Father to forgive us.
What is the best way to forgiveness? PRAYER! Ask God to help you and He will happily oblige. Not only will He help you but He will smile upon you because it is pleasing to Him.
Heavenly Father, I'm struggling with forgiveness. I know I need to forgive but it's so hard for me Lord. I've been very hurt and I don't know how to over-rule my feelings. I need Your help with this, Father. I know Only You can help me overcome my painful feelings and conquer my unforgiveness. Father, I'm crying out to You now. Help me to forgive _______. I want to heal and be made whole again. In Jesus" Powerful name. Amen.