Choosing to Forgive
Some of the information will be from the book Choosing Forgiveness John & Paula Sandford and Lee Bowman. Because we will be talking about Forgiveness, we will also be covering the topic of personal woundings.
CHOOSING TO FORGIVE
Many people don't want to be told that getting into position to receive the grace of forgiveness from God will require working daily at the discipline of forgiving others. They don't want to be told they must go through the effort of constantly blessing those who hurt them. (Remember, blessing someone does not require you to be abused by them. Many times there is a need to set boundaries.)
Sometimes God heals easily and quickly. But sometimes, in His wisdom, He knows shortcuts won't be good for us; we'll have to take the long road of struggle and discipline, making ourselves obey when everything in us cries out to go the other way. We must choose to forgive.
Life without suffering is impossible. When we are injured by others, or by injustice, the natural response is anger. It is normal. Our problem is not anger. Our problem is that we don't resolve our anger every day, and therefore end up sinning. Unresolved angers, carried day after day, become resentment. Resentments, once ingrained in the heart, become bitterness. Jesus called bitterness a "hardened heart." It is the root cause of much trouble.
Making the Choice to Forgive
In anger we have a choice. We can communicate with those who offended us and forgive them, or we can hold on to their sin and walk in unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness.
We can choose to keep our hearts open, making ourselves available to be touched by others, and giving ourselves to them as well. Or, we can choose to harden our hearts, building walls around our heart so that we no longer vulnerable.
A life of unforgiveness is a life of bitterness and torment. it is a life which opens to demonic oppression. It is a life of bondage to addictions and compulsive behaviors which seek to gratify the flesh in some hope of alleviating constant emotional stress. It is a life of unrest and violence.
From Darkness to Light
A lifestyle of unforgiveness pollutes our life and defiles others. it results in spiritual, mental, and emotional darkness. The good news is that God forgives us, and He wants us to forgive others. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness express God's nature and character to others.
Giving and Receiving Forgiveness
Healing starts by identifying those who have offended us and choosing to grant them forgiveness. Give, and you shall receive–full measure, pressed down, and shaken together. Healing takes place as we seek to be forgiven. We must ask God to forgive us for living in resentment and allowing our hearts to be hardened. We must ask forgiveness from those whom we have defiled by our own bitterness.
Confession, exposure, openness, and transparency with others you trust can bring greater healing than you can ever achieve alone.
Our next nugget will be on "Facing Truth and Reality" in regards to Forgiveness.
Copyright @ 2010 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).