A Year of Forgiveness

Sometimes forgiveness is for the other person.

Sometimes forgiveness is for yourself.

All the time forgiveness is what Jesus wants us to give.

This has been quiet the year for me!  Lots to learn and lots to give!  I’ve had the opportunity to forgive in BIG WAYS!   Forgiveness is always big but sometimes it seems to have a monumental impact on you personally.

Micah 7:18    Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Matthew 6:14  For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Luke 1:77  to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,

2 Corinthians 2:7  Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

2 Corinthians 2:10  Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,

One thing I’ve learned is that the forgiveness is usually more for me than it is for the one I’m forgiving.  There are several different types of forgiveness.   PEACE2

#1 You forgive but the forgiveness might come with Boundaries

“Forgiveness and trust are two totally different things. In fact, that’s part of your problem. Every time he’s done this, he’s come back and apologized, and you have just accepted him right back into your life, and nothing has changed. You trusted him, nothing was different, and he did it again. I don’t think that’s wise.”    (ref: “Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud”

1. Forgiveness has to do with the past. Forgiveness is not holding something someone has done against her. It is letting it go. It only takes one to offer forgiveness. And just as God has offered forgiveness to everyone, we are expected to do the same Matthew6:12 and 18:35

2. Reconciliation has to do with the present.
 It occurs when the other person apologizes and accepts forgiveness. It takes two to reconcile.

3. Trust has to do with the future.
 It deals with both what you will risk happening again and what you will open yourself up to. A person must show through his actions that he is trustworthy before you trust him again  Matthew 3:8; Proverbs 4:23

#2 You forgive but that forgiveness may be met without remorse so therefore the forgiveness only releases you to the healing power of Jesus

To forgive someone who has harmed you without them asking for that forgiveness is sometimes difficult but always necessary.  Jesus tells us individually to forgive others.  And Jesus will judge us individually for our forgiveness of others.  It is not our job to insist that they repent.  It’s a heart thing!  They may never feel the need to ask forgiveness from you for the harm done to you and they may never ask God’s forgiveness but God will deal with them alone.  But if we don’t forgive on our side then we are going to carry around hurt and anger that will only destroy our souls and eat away at our hearts.  Making us bitter!  Jesus does not want that for us.  He also doesn’t expect us to forget the harm just allow Him to remove the pain from it.  

Ephesians 4:31-32  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

3 You forgive the other solely for their well being.  But in the end you will be blessed by the experience.

Then there may be times when someone asks for your forgiveness yet you don’t feel any anger at all against them.  You never know how a simple act of forgiveness may bring peace to a soul and allow them to also accept the forgiveness of Christ.  It may just be what they needed to find redemption.

Luke 17:3-4  Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

Colossians 3:13   Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

1 Peter 3:9    Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

As I’ve traveled through this year, I’ve grown in the understanding of the love that God has for me and the healing power of forgiving.  I’ve clung on to the truths of God’s word and the examples that he has given to me.  I have not yet perfected my every action but I have learned  how to consult Him before I react while taking time to breath and meditating on His word.  This has brought much peace to my day to day living and has settled the turmoil in my heart.  I’ve learned that His direction for me is what is perfecting me.  Until the day that I’m with Him forever. 
Romans 12:1-21
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.  For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Other resources to find out more about why forgiveness is so important:

Biblegateway.org biblegateway-com-logo

“Why is forgiving so important?”  (ref: https://getupministry.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/10-reasons-why-forgiveness-is-so-important/ )

“5 Reasons you should let go” (ref:  http://www.purposefairy.com/5311/forgiveness-5-reasons-why-you-should-let-go-of-resentments/ )

And if you need a safe place to begin the forgiving healing power, find a Celebrate Recovery location near you. ( ref:  http://locator.crgroups.info/ )

Lord thank you for walking with me through my life.  I know that I can trust your strength to carry me.  Help me Lord continue to forgive when needed and asking forgiveness when I have wronged others.  Please be with the ones that I love.  I pray that everyone will turn to  you for a peace of the soul.  Amen!

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