17. Oct, 2013

Forgiveness?

‘We love because he first loved us.’

1 John 4:19

 

One author writes: ‘Think of an area of unforgiveness and see if any of these reasons to hold a grudge resonate with you. a) Anger keeps more potent emotions at bay; once it’s gone you fear the emotional flood that may follow. b) A grudge takes time and energy, and you’re not sure who you’d be without it. c) You’ve replayed your ‘personal-betrayal-and-hurt movie’ so often you know it by heart. d) The idea of moving on is terrifying, whereas misery is familiar. e) The offender has done nothing to deserve forgiveness. f) Harbouring resentment stops you from getting hurt again because nobody can get close.’ Jesus said, ‘Why…look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?’ (Matthew 7:3 NIV). This author says, ‘I’ve banged my plank into walls and around corners so often I’m certain I have retina damage!’ Now consider these Reasons for releasing a grudge. a)Relinquishing past hurts frees you to embrace the present and future. b) When you’re not spending time and energy feeding a grudge, you can nourish new, healthy ideas. c) The offender can’t keep hurting you when you shake off the shackles and move on. d) Holding a grudge feels like a form of control, but actually you’re the one being controlled. e) Once you lower your defences you can start to heal, love, and be loved. f) Feeling angry feels good temporarily, but being healed feels so much better. g) God mandates us to love ‘because he first loved us.’ You’ve held onto it long enough; it’s time to let it go and enjoy the freedom that comes from forgiveness.

Ex 19-21Jn 2:12-25Ps 110 Prov 26:13-16

 

‘…Forgiving each other, just as…God forgave you.’

Ephesians 4:32
 
 The Bible says, ‘Be kind…forgiving each other…as…God forgave you.’ Kristin Armstrong says: ‘After you forgive…you get to walk out the process…it’s a collaborative effort of God’s power and your hard work. Letting go isn’t always as simple as opening your tightly-clenched fist, although deliverance sometimes is immediate. For example, some people quit smoking cold-turkey, while others chew nicotine gum for years! Old habits die hard, and letting go of resentment means: a) Recommitting to your decision as many times as old thoughts of unforgiveness pop into your head. b) Making peace with the space formerly occupied by bitterness, regret and thoughts of revenge until the Holy Spirit takes up full-time occupancy in the new digs! c) Releasing old, toxic relationships and people whose only purpose is keeping your old wounds fresh. When people change around unchanging people, it makes them aware of their own need for change, and it scares them. d) Just as your salvation was immediate yet you have to walk out your sanctification, the release of your forgiveness is immediate but you have to walk out your healing. e) Living a life free from the burden of resentment and the toxicity of unforgiveness is a choice followed by a series of choices. Each one becomes easier…as we move farther from our old ways and into the light…Paul said, ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…’ (Galatians 5:1 NIV) and every time we let something or someone go free, we receive freedom for ourselves in overflowing proportion. It’s a time-tested, guaranteed spiritual principle backed by the promise of Scripture.’