ARE YOU A FORGIVING PERSON?

regret

We live in a wonderful yet often painful world. Nothing can totally isolate or insulate us from the disappointments and losses of life. Even good people sometimes experience bad things. In the midst of life’s struggles, we all accept that forgiveness is a good idea. Forgiveness, said one writer, is God’s antidote for bitterness, wrath and anger. But actually acting on that idea is another thing: forgiving is not an easy thing to do. Before we can learn how to be better ‘forgivers’, we need to recognize what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not giving approval to what someone else did to you. Nor is it excusing someone else’s mistakes, or trivializing the offense, saying that it doesn’t really matter. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean saying that your feelings are of no importance and it doesn’t mean that you commit yourself to a relationship with that person in the future. Forgiveness is not naive. It does not say ‘I was not hurt, you did not hurt me.’ Forgiveness is very honest. Forgiveness is not easy because it seems to run against every natural human emotion, every natural response. Naturally speaking, we will try to defend ourselves or even to fight back. Forgiveness requires that we move past those basic instincts to something higher.

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

We forgive not because we don’t feel hurt, or because we don’t have a right to feel offended. We forgive because it is the godly thing to do, and because God forgives us. No matter how great someone’s offense against you, your past offense against God is infinitely greater. And, thank God, he has forgiven you. Letting that awesome power of forgiveness and release run through your heart, like a river through a canyon, is the key to finding lasting peace and closure.

Prayer: ‘Lord, I know that forgiveness is not easy, and it doesn’t feel natural. But I choose to forgive, to allow your releasing power to flow through my heart and mind today. I release others from their debt, because you did that for me. Help me to be a forgiving person.’

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9 responses to “ARE YOU A FORGIVING PERSON?”

  1. Becky says :

    This reminds me of a tree or flower or anything planted…… It starts off with the ground being prepared for the awaiting of the growth and the outcome of the tree, food or flower…The ground is ready…..The seed has been planted, it is watered, the sun shines down upon it nurturing it further, till one day,,,the seed is transformed into the tree, food or flower…What beauty..to see the fruit of our labour…As it is with forgiveness….The fruit tree prospers and gives more fruit when we forgive continuously..ie our hearts remain softened and our relationship with God grows…. However, with no forgiveness, the heart remains hard and there is no fruit to bear… It is better to forgive than to remain bitter and hard.. Growth does not come this way..with bitterness…

    This is why Jesus died for us…He died for our sins….Ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness..

    As it says in the bible: Forgive 70 x7….always forgive…

  2. Janet says :

    It is true that forgiveness runs against human nature. It is a very difficult thing to do. I found that there are many people who push you, telling you that you need to forgive someone. Many people who say “forgive and forget”. Pushing someone into forgiving, as far as I can tell, NEVER works.
    I heard someone speak on forgiveness once, and she mentioned forgiveness as stairs and platforms. There are many steps that you have to take to forgive. And platforms where you can remain for long periods of time. As long as you keep moving forward you will eventually get to the top – Forgiveness – but it often involves backstepping, and it always involves TIME.

  3. Judy Scurr says :

    I believe that walking in forgiveness is a choice that has to be made my us daily. There will be hurts, misunderstandings and accusations come our way but we can choose not to have our lives altered by them. Forgiving is an act of us giving it over to God and allowing Him to work in the situation on our behalf. It also keeps us free from unanswered prayer, bitterness, anger and hate that eventually comes from harbouring unforgiveness.
    There’s nothing worse than the drain of a bitter root. Hurt just keeps growing and growing until we grow ineffective in blessing others..and actually we are so absorbed in our negatives that they become chains that keep ourselves and others bound up.

    My husband and I had good friends that were having marriage problems. They fought all the time and the words they spoke over each other were terrible to hear. Eventaully we couldn’t be around them any longer.They were both Christians but over time their hurts, resentments and unforgiveness had built up walls of hardness. They decided the best thing to do was separate for a season and get back to praying over the mess they were in. This husband was praying to God about His wife one night and was telling Him how bad she was as a wife and had a list of reasons why he should divorce her. Immeditely God show him a picture of his wife but in the picture she was covered completely in this black shadow. Everything the husband held against her was written in black on her body. God said that the black was all the unforgiveness he had towards her. It was keeping her bound up and was preventing God from coming into the situation. God instructed this husband to take his list of offences and to start forgiving her one offence at a time. He was to release her and bless her. He obeyed, even though he felt justified in having his list. God showed the figure of his wife again and this time the image had changed. Light was shining through the areas where she was forgiven.
    The husband eventually went through the list and saw that the image of his wife was totally clean and clear. He realized how holding unto so much unforgiveness towards her had kept her trapped in the place he didn’t want her to be. He knew that because of his unforgiveness he also was blocking God’s hands from coming into the situation. He repented for his unforgiveness and bitterness towards his wife and for being in sin. Their marraige was healed and completely restored over time.
    Choosing to be a forgiving person keeps you free and keeps you healthy ~ spiritually, emotionally and physically!

    Being a “FORGIVING PERSON” keeps the doors for demonic activity shut tight and closed!!

  4. Ron says :

    Are you a forgiving person? Good question.
    As Christain brothers and sisters in Christ we are asked to trust and obey
    Jesus’s teachings.
    I worked hard as a young man to bury my past experiences .
    I thought that being a good provider and getting wealth would solve everything but my life continued to be empty. I still carried unforgiveness toward family members that wounded me in my past.
    When I invited Jesus into my heart I felt peace and contentment.
    I learned that to obey him meant to put “forgiveness” into practice. It wasn’t something that I could do on my own. To do that I had to trust him to help me.
    Jesus has been teaching me to love those who have hurt me. As a result I am learning what it means to have love and I have compassion for those people. It has given me a sense of freedom.
    I’m still not doing it perfectly. I am still in the process of healing and I know that it can only get better as I ask Jesus to walk through the process with me.

    Ron

  5. beulah hillier says :

    I PRAYED THE PRAYER & I KNOW THAT THE LORD HEARD ME . PLEASE PRAY THAT MY HUBBY WILL BE ABLE TO PRAY THE SAME PRAY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HURT HIM.GOD BLESS ALL OF US AS WE TRY TO LIVE TO PLEASE THE LORD & BE READY FOR HIS RETURN

  6. Chris Jones says :

    Hilarious – that’s my friend Darryl – do you know him Anthony?
    Peace
    Chris

  7. Roger Burns says :

    Well I am not sure if I have been forgiving people, and if I have, I am not sure if I am doing it right. I don’t know if it is a guy thing or what, but over the years I have learned to let a lot of things slide off of my shoulders. I was taught that men should be strong and not show there weak side. Just like what you are saying is not forgiving. I was taught to use lines like, ‘don’t worry about it”, or it’s fine I wasn’t really hurt by what you said anyway”. So when I thought I was forgiving I was really lying to the other person and perhaps to myself. Lying doesn’t do any good for me or the other person.
    Thank you for the insight Anthony. I will start working on proper forgiveness. I suppose my model for that would be Christ’s words on the cross “forgive them Father they know not what they do”.

  8. Terri Wilson says :

    pastor A
    years ago i couldnt forgive the people who hurt me real bad and to this day it is very hard but thanks to my sister in law alexandra who help to teach me to forgive the ones that hurt me and to bring it to god and ask him to release them it hard to the point u cant forgive but am learning by givein it to god that i become the better person by forgivening them

  9. Cheryl says :

    You’re right Terri. Take it to God.

    Someone pointed out to me years ago that I was wrong to think forgiveness was simply a matter between me and whoever offended me. In fact, it is a deep issue between God and myself. If I want a clean and unhindered relationship with God, I must keep the channels open and clear of any harboured unforgiveness. I must forgive as He forgave me. It cost Him a lot of pain and suffering to bring forgiveness of sins and so even if it hurts me to forgive sometimes, that’s alright. I’m in good company.

    Also, I used to feel that if I forgave someone, they would now be ‘off the hook’ for what they did and that just didn’t seem fair. Once again, a wise friend taught me that when I forgive someone, they may be off of my hook but they are still on God’s hook, so to speak, and it is up to God to deal with them as He chooses and God knows best how to do that, certainly I do not. Sometimes in difficult situations I have actually imagined myself taking someone off of my hook and putting them on God’s hook. Maybe that sounds silly, but it helped. It brought peace.

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