Forgiveness. Rated E for everyone. It can be something that weighs us down for long periods of time. It can keep you up late at night. You replay it in your mind of things you could have done differently. They hurt you but they moved on with their lives. Or possibly you hurt someone. But yet, you are here still sitting stuck. Seasons change. Some more quickly than others. Forgiveness is not waiting for an apology. It’s not about forgetting what happened. You can remember yet not carry that burden.
Forgiveness is accepting the hurt and not allowing that to hinder your happiness. That would mean giving someone else control of your joy. No one or thing deserves that much power. I remember being asked, how do you forgive someone that tried to kill you? It’s like breathing. I had to exhale from what my body didn’t need. That pain didn’t belong to me to own. Did it hurt? Like hell. Don’t get me wrong, at first, it wasn’t easy. One day there was a decision made that the more I fed the pain with bitterness, the more it was depleting my own happiness. I wrote about this topic in Shattering the Glasshouse. It comes a time in your life where it’s time FOR you to GIVE. They know are wrong. Give yourself an opportunity to experience joy after hurt. The wonderful thing about forgiveness is that it’s an event. It’s a gift to you.
I’ve experienced other types of hurts and had to revisit the act of forgiveness. God has a funny way of testing us to see if we really did let the past hurts go. It can feel like you’re being on the show Punked and Ashton Kutcher is about to come out at any moment. Once I realized the power of forgiveness, it became easier to me. On the other hand, unforgiveness is like being in critical condition waiting to be healed. It’s actually a blessing blocker.
Want to be a Petty Patty or Peter? That’s cool, but consider this: Unforgiveness causes resentment, anger, bitterness, depression, and illness in the body. Actually, it’s internalizing and hurting you. No one else.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:13-14 MSG
There are wrong people occupying the wrong spaces at the right time. The time where they gave you a lesson. They moved on. And so should you. I think that one of the hardest things to do is forgive yourself. The beauty of life is making mistakes. Love your flawed self the way you are. Even those things can be used for your good. Think about it. You were comfortable with that love interest, friendship, that business partnership, or being at that church. Then an event caused you to get uncomfortable. It inspires. It gives you fuel to keep going. Take your power back. It belongs to your future. Not your past. Happiness is a choice. As well as forgiveness. It will change the world for you.
No More Nails
The question isn’t how much forgiveness do they deserve, the question is how much freedom do you desire? Watch this weekend’s sermon, “No More Nails, now at elevationchurch.org.Posted by Steven Furtick on Monday, March 6, 2017
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