Forgiveness

A friend asked me to write something for her about forgiveness but instead God…

I very good friend asked me to write something for her about forgiveness. I woke up this morning with the intent of doing just that. But before I write anything, I always go to God for first for guidance. To be honest, I had no plans to write anything other than that today. Well, God had other plans. He told me to write this message because forgiveness is something everybody deals with at some point in their lives.

No matter who you are, at some point in your life you have dealt or will deal with forgiveness. You will either be the forgiver or the one forgiven. It’s just one of those things you can’t escape. It’s universal.

Forgiveness is a hard pill to swallow

There is lots to talk about forgiveness from both angles; however, this message is mainly focused on the forgiver. Some people can naturally forgive; while for others, forgiveness is a hard pill to swallow. It’s one of the hardest things to do.  

We have faced or will be faced at some point in our lives with the dilemma to forgive or not. But how do you do that? I can tell you from my own experience, it’s not easy. The truth is, some things are easier to forgive than others. And it also depends on the kind of relationship you have with the person.

So, how do you forgive the wrongs done to you?

How do you forgive… The mother or father who abandoned you or was never there for you? The spouse who cheated on you or left you? The brother or sister who did something inconceivable, something you feel you just can’t let it go? The fiancé who left you at the altar in front of family and friends? The “best” friend who betrayed you, the one you thought had your back just like you always had his or hers? The person (could be someone you know or stranger) who killed your loved one and took him or her away from you, leaving you to mourn? The co-worker who backstabbed you and got the promotion you deserved? The son or daughter who disrespected you in a way no one else has ever done, after all you have done for him or her? The cousin or neighbor who spreads lies about you because he or she envies you? The church brother or sister who wants your leadership position and will go to any length to move you out to move right in?

So, how do you forgive the wrongs done to you? And even when you forgive, the truth is, you will never forget.

There are people doing wrong things to people every day

This is real stuff happening every day. There are people doing wrong things to people every day. We just don’t talk about these things openly and freely because it’s uncomfortable, awkward, embarrassing and we don’t want people knowing our business, or knowing what’s really going on behind the scenes and behind closed doors at home, work, neighborhood, church, school, etc.. Most importantly, we don’t want people to know how hurt we truly are. And sometimes we just don’t know who to trust.

Too, it’s sometimes uncomfortable and awkward for others to listen, and to listen without judging or feeling some kind of a way. These people don’t know what to say or do to make you feel better or make things better other than to listen. They don’t want to take sides, don’t want to get in the middle of stuff that’s not their business.

Also, not everybody is equipped or called to take on other people’s burdens. Not everybody is filled with that kind of love and empathy, are good listeners or can listen without judging, or cares enough to want to get involved or know about your bad stuff because they’re dealing with their own stuff. I’m just keeping it real. This is one of my callings and I thank God for it. I take it seriously when God entrusts me with one of His children.

What happens to you when you don’t forgive?

Here’s the thing… when you don’t forgive, you will live a miserable life, no ifs, ands or buts. Meanwhile, in most cases, the person who did you wrong, has moved on with his/her life. I’m not saying they’re happy, I’m just saying they’ve moved on. And you are stuck in the past, reliving the heartbreak, lost, hurt, pain, anger, disappointment, hate, resentment, animosity, grudge, etc., Yes, reliving every negative emotion you felt when you were wronged. So who is worse off?

When you don’t forgive, you are held hostage by all the ill emotions that makes you feel miserable, restless, breaks you down, keeps you up all night crying, and may slowly but surely deteriorate you mentally, emotionally and physically. And you really don’t want things to get this bad. You have to talk to yourself, and tell yourself, “It hurts bad but I can do this. I can forgive, I will get through this and I will get over it. Things will get better for me and I will feel better. I need help and will get the help I need.”

There are family feuds and family not talking to each other and have passed this down for generations due to unforgiveness. And sometimes the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren don’t even know why but are caught-up in it and keep passing it down and keep it going. This is so sad!

Go to God first

Go to God first. Cry out to God and tell Him, “I need Your help! I can’t do this alone! I need You, Heavenly Father, to help me forgive and have peace with it.” God will hear you and help you. You know why? Because He loves you and He will get you through the worst time in your life. I know this personally. And depending on how bad you feel, you may need professional help.

So, ask God to send the right person or persons to help you. He will! I know this firsthand because He did it for me. And if He did it for me, He will surely do it for you. God loves anybody and everybody! He is not exclusive, He is inclusive. He is accessible to all who call on Him.

Let me tell you this, God will be all over it! Okay! You just got to turn it over to Him, trust Him, do what He tells you to do and see God work things out for your good. You will feel His love, His peace, His joy, His hope and His comfort working in you and for you. No matter what has been done to you or against you and how you are feeling, God is on your side!

Forgiveness is really for you and good for you

So, forgiveness is really for you and good for you. Forgiveness is healthy and beneficial to you. It helps you to move on with your life. Yes, you will remember the wrong but it will not hold you back from getting on with your life and living. And when you remember, because you will remember, the awesome news is that you will not feel as bad as you felt before you forgave. And each time you remember, which will decrease with time, the hurt will be less and less until one day, it will not hurt.

God tells me, “Debbie, do the right thing and leave the rest to me.”

I’ve said this before and will keep saying it. I don’t know how people get through stuff without God. I know I can’t and don’t want to. Forgiveness is hard to do and doing it on your own is even harder. Every time I’m faced with forgiveness, God always tells me, “Debbie, do the right thing and leave the rest to me.” So, that’s exactly what I do. I forgive, leave the rest to God and move on. Because at the end of the day, God is our only Judge and we will all have to give Him an account of our words, actions and inactions.

Then I feel His love, peace, joy and comfort wrapped around me. Best feeling ever! And I sleep like a baby, with a big smile on my face. Okay! Ask my husband and he’d tell you about my big smile, showing all my teeth while sleeping. Lol!

Do I occasionally remember the wrong done to me. Of course, I’m human. But I don’t have time to dwell on it because right there and then God reminds me, “I told you to leave the rest to me.” Then I go about my business. Okay!

We’ve all said and done wrong things to others

The truth is, we’ve all said and done wrong things to others or not said or done what we should have, intentionally or unintentionally. Some of us are fully aware of our words and actions. Then there are times we are truly unaware that we’ve hurt somebody’s feelings, unless we’re told.

Some of us when we realize or have been told that we said or did something wrong, or did not say or do what was expected, we step up to the plate and apologize and ask for forgiveness. Then it’s up to that person to accept or not our apology or to forgive or not. It’s in their court.  

Forgive and free yourself!

Don’t allow ill feelings to fester and harbor in your heart, i.e., anger, animosity, bitterness, despise, hate, grudge, malice, resentment, revenge, etc., because of the wrong done to you. Instead, forgive the person, in your heart, and free yourself from these ill feelings. You might never interact with that person again, and that’s okay. Or you may have to interact at a distance. As my mother would say, “Once bitten, twice shy.”

Let’s go to God’s Word and see what He says about forgiveness. Read, study and meditate. Let God’s Word speak to your heart and to your situation. Listen and do what God tells you to do. And just like me, you will feel His love, His peace, His joy, His hope and His comfort wrapped around you. And you will know that you are okay because you are in God’s hands. Everything is going to be alright, in Jesus’ name!

Bible Reflection

“Do not nurse hatred in your heart for an of your relatives… Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:17-18 NLT

“O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.” Psalm 61:1-3 NLT

“Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.” Proverbs 10:12 NLT

“Don’t say, I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.” Proverbs 20:22 NLT

“No weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindications from me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17 NIV

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NLT

“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.” Mark 11:25 NLT

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NIV

“You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV

Is there someone in your life who did you wrong, hurt you, offended you, and you think you can’t forgive? Or not ready to forgive? Then the only way is to let go and let God! 

P.S. I didn’t expect to write this much but I go with God’s flow. That’s just the way we roll, okay!

Say & Believe “Greater is Jesus in Me!

From Deb’s Red Heart to yours…

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