Forgiveness – Ah, that is a big one. I know some people that go through their whole lives hanging on to unforgiveness like a rope of survival. One individual that I know in particular carries in his wallet a letter to another person (a close relative) of his that he truly hates because of something he feels they have done to him. Does this close relative even know they have offended him in such a horrendous way? probably not. I know of another person that seems to be hanging on to unforgiveness with such a tight fist on this rope of survival, that they seem to be stuck in just their day to day life. I was talking with them the other day and they were actually happy that these people that had hurt them was deceased, however, the feelings of unforgiveness continued. My question is, when do you let these dark feelings go?
I struggled with unforgiveness for a long time. It had eventually caused major health problems that I didn’t associate with the unforgiveness in my heart and it seemed to take such a deep root that no matter what I did, it seemed to always be there. However, I found out something, forgiveness is a choice. I have heard forgive and forget. I kept on thinking about that and that seemed to be a hang up or a snag to this whole forgiveness issue. How do you get past that? well for one, forgiveness is a choice and you have to choose to forgive. I had to pray and ask that God show me everyone that I had in my heart that was needing me to forgive. Now, here is big one ! What are you holding on that reminds you of the hurt that person caused? I had jewelry in my jewelry box from this person and even though I didn’t look at it all the time, it was there. I had other things in my possession that belonged to other people that had done really mean things to me. You may not believe me, but there are attachments to these things. Real hurts and feelings, but it is a choice to forgive. Sure, the memories are there, those are your life experiences, but you don’t live in the past experiences any more. You are stronger than that. Forgiveness brings you peace.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)