The Power of Forgiveness

forgivenessForgiveness: the act of forgiving someone or something

It’s easy to tell someone they need to forgive, but harder to do it ourselves.  So many things in life are like that.  We are great at giving advice, but not so great at actually taking it.  That would require discipline.  Let’s face it the majority of us lack discipline in one area or another.

Does that mean we shouldn’t try or give up?  Absolutely not!  That just means we need to work a little harder at certain things, forgiveness being one of them.

Let’s talk about a couple reasons of why forgiving is hard:

  • Holding a grudge

Holding a grudge only causes you great amounts of suffering.  The person you are secretly or not so secretly hating probably thinks about you very little if at all.  Lack of forgiveness seethes in you and in the process leaves you feeling bitter, angry, hating life for its injustice among other things.

  • Forgiving yourself

Actually not forgiving yourself probably eats away more of your soul than holding a grudge.  We are our worst enemies when it comes to not forgiving ourselves.  Sure we know God except our plea for forgiveness, but do we really believe it?  I have hated myself at times for things I have done, because in the end I didn’t really believe I was forgiven or didn’t realize to a point I was holding it all in.  There is a song that says, “Forgiveness, can you imagine.”  Sometimes I don’t think we can.  It is such a human trait to wallow in ones own self-pity and that’s exactly where the Devil wants you to stay.  He reminds us of all our wrong doings, bad choices and keeps pumping into us that we are not worth anything.

However we have this amazing, incredible, loving God who says, “your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.  He doesn’t say, “I am going to crush you”, or “you will never be worth anything.”  No, he says you are forgiven.  It’s our own guilt and the Devil working on our minds telling us the other.

  • What to do?

Stop listening to the lies.  Who is your judge after all?  It’s not your friends, family, co-workers or spouse.  This doesn’t mean you don’t listen and learn from your mistakes and work to not make them again.  Remember the, “go and sin no more.”  But at the same time if we do,  God is willing to forgive again and again.  Both ways God can step in and give you exactly what you need.  A safe place, comfort, joy, anything and everything you need.  He is the only one that will not hold a sin against you, bring it up again or make you feel like a total failure because of it.

We can learn so much from him.  Forgiveness being one of the most important.  Have we ourselves not been forgiven.  Why then do we withhold that forgiveness from somebody else?  We feel betrayed and hurt, but how more so did Jesus feel hammered to a cross?  We have no excuse but our own human inability to admit we were wrong and or think we are so awesome the person who did us wrong doesn’t deserve your forgiveness.  Hate to break it to you, but your awesomeness does not surpass the awesomeness of Christ.

God is the ultimate forgiver.  His son gave us something so special.  A gift we can not even fathom.  I have been given such grace.  After so many wrongs and sins he still loves me and watches out for my very best.  In return I want to praise him, bring him glory and not disappoint.forgiveness

That is one of the reasons for life right?  To improve, learn, grow, inspire and be inspired.

Something else to point out are the health issues that can arise from not forgiving.  People can physically go into such a funk of anger and depression that it’s hard for them to snap out of.  Hate is such an all-consuming thing.  It doesn’t let any light in or allow a person to think clearly.  It doesn’t leave room for growth or a future.

From your mental state to your body.  It is so destructive.  People don’t eat, sleep and definitely don’t care about staying in shape.  A lot of times if the anger or hurt goes deep enough the person will withdraw from others start drinking, do drugs, you name it.  The path of grudges, self hate and anger is not the path you want to choose.

Choose the path of forgiveness.  Do it for yourself, the person involved and for the people who love you.  Your stubborn, selfish, hurt feelings are so not worth you ruining your life over.

If you have someone you have not forgiven.  I urge you to talk with them right now.  Call, send a message or do whatever it is you need to do to communicate that you have forgiven them.  If you need to, stretch your hands to Heaven and let God take the burden of your guilt away once and for all.  It’s never too late and never a bad time.  The relief you will feel is so indescribable.  You will feel like sleeping for a decade, flying, crying, shouting for joy or all of the above.

“Forgiveness, can you imagine?”  Yes, yes you can!

-Heather Earles

Replacing Bad behavior with Good

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