You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘forgiveness’ tag.

I made a mistake a few days ago. A mistake so great that I should not be here typing this post. And one day I will testify when God releases me to do so. But for the purpose of today, I made a mistake from very complex motivations and God had to clean up the mess. Basic but the truth.

Having gone through that, I want to say that God and I are making progress toward forgiveness – me forgiving myself. And part of that process is accepting that there is weakness within me, within all of us. Yes, I am sorry to dissapoint the egotistical maniacs of the world, but we are not God. Perfect, loving God. No, we are part of the self-centered, stubborn, hating, imperfect (obviously), conniving, did-I-mention-imperfect? human race.

Yup. There it is. We. Make. Mistakes. Again and again and again and repeat-that-in-your-head-a-thousand-times-and-you-might-get-the-idea type of ”AGAIN.”

In other words, we are weak in many areas of our lives. We do things we shouldn’t do. We say things we shouldn’t say. We believe things we shouldn’t believe.

But here’s that kicker; all that aside, we are some pretty decent people.

Yes, I said it. After saying all that, we really aren’t all that bad. We have issues, yes. But we have a quality side to us as well. That side that is concerned about the planet, each other, the poor, the hurting. We’re pretty good people.

So when you do something that…maybe you shouldn’t have done, remember that there is a good side and a flawed side. This is a rule-of-thumb. None of us are exempt. We do good things and foolish things. But most of us desire to do right. And from that reasoning I say to you and myself, “Let it go. Move on. Move forward. Continue with your life. Don’t let it become a mistake that binds. Release yourself by forgiving yourself.”

Advertisements

Do we know that the extent of our love equals the extent of our commitment? For if we do not love, how then can we be devoted? And if we are not devoted, where comes the commitment? So I ask, if we do not truly love God, then can we be surprised when we struggle with committing to Him? Most likely, it’d be more a battle than we would like.

You see, I believe that the trouble with commitment has more to do with our awareness of God than our actual willpower. What do I mean by awareness? I mean, if we know God as a distant, unforgiving God whom we are not sure we can trust, then we will struggle with committing to Him. However, if we know God, truly know God, as a savior, a friend, a provider, a healer, a deliverer, a redeemer, then our admiration of Him will skyrocket. Our adoration of Him will grow. And our love for Him has no choice but to follow in tow.

Our commitment to Him will rise.

In my experience, I have found five different types of God-followers in this world:

  •          The Forgiven –the ones who have been forgiven of such a depth of sin that their devotion to their Forgiver is quite substantial.
  •          The Delivered –those whom God has healed from such a world of pain (emotional, physical, mental) that they can’t stop singing His praises.
  •          The Dedicated – they live a sound and content life, find God to be faithful through the normal life trials, and they are willing to stand by Him because He has proven Himself faithful.
  •          The Luke-warm – they who have found God to be a pretty cool dude and they are willing to put up a good face for the salvation of their souls.
  •          The Backslider – the ones who once followed God with passion but for whatever reason, they have turned their backs on His tender mercy but are not truly content with their decision to leave Him.

 

The first two tend to be real hot in their love-walk. Why? Because their awareness of God is hot. They know Him in an intensely personal, appliceable way and He has become important to them. The dedicated do know God on a personal level, they love Him, and are dedicated to Him. But though their passion is hot, it’s not always as fiery as the Forgiven and Delivered tend to be. The luke-warm followers are weak in their love-walk. They don’t know God personally enough to really develop passion for His ways. And the backslider is one who harbored misconceptions of God, and when life took a turn those misconceptions failed to sustain their committmet to Him.

So if we find ourselves among luke-warm or backsider status but we don’t want to stay there, what do we do? Look at the last paragraph and see if you see a pattern. The more God is able to prove Himself to His people, the more dedicated those people become. Why? Because with every answered prayer, every provision, deliverance, healing, etc, God is revealing Himself to His people. And as He reveals Himself, we see more and more of just how awesome He is. And the more we see, the more impressed we become, the more devoted we become, the more love we extend, and the more committed we grow.

In other words, the first step to grow in commitment to God is to decide to become more committed. And when we bring that desire into our prayer life, God begins to open our eyes to His glory.

Two Sundays ago was Easter Sunday. And when I went to church, I expected a lesson on ressurection, love, obedience, etc. I did not expect a deliverance from unforgiveness. But God never did seem to comply with what I expected from His sermons, so why should He start now?

You see, I have battled long and hard with forgiving some incidences that happened about a year ago. And it’s not that I was being rebellious against the commandments of God. I pleaded with Him often to help me forgive. I wanted to forgive. But I was just so hurt, and so angry, that no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t genuinly manage it.

A year ago my mind was attacked, my heart bullied, my reputation torn to shreds, my integrity placed on the line, and life became so overwhelming I almost surrendered my life. It was a time of pain I wouldn’t wish on any man. It was a time of such hopelessness and despair I almost gave up on God’s delivering power. And it took me a year and much prayer and many divine touches before I could even consider myself back on the path of true stability.

And because of all of this, I grew angry and bitter. I didn’t want to be, but when pain festers too long, bitterness is the fruit it bears. So when I asked God, why could I not forgive? He told me, Daughter, you are simply in too much pain.

So throughout this past year, God kept me on a path toward healing. He was my Docter, giving me continual doses of peace and joy, over and over, lifting me up every time I fell down. Then, gradually, my pain lessened though it did not fully heal. In time my anger diminished, though it did not fully fade. And I stayed at my Master’s feet and held on to the hem of His garmet.

And then, finally, Easter Sunday I was given the revelation I needed. Apostle Jones was preaching and He spoke about how Jesus carried not only our iniquities, but also our pain. All the hurts and sorrows that we have experienced, do experience, and will experience, He endured on the cross.

It hit my like a bag of bricks. If I am one with Christ Jesus, if my life is hidden in His, then when they hurt me a year ago, they also hurt Him. And when I was in such psychological agony that I desired death over the pain, He was there with me, bearing the sorrow at my side, as one with my spirit. My pain was His pain.

And I realized, if Christ could endure all that pain, and not only mine but many others as well, on that cross, and still cry out that man be forgiven, then I could forgive as well. And as easilly as switching on a light, I did. And as I did, I was able to release all the anger that remained inside my heart. Do I still have a bit of healing left? Yes. Some of the pain is still there. But it diminishes more and more with every passing day. It’s progress was quickened by my breakthrough on Easter Sunday and boosted by continual touches of divine healing ever since.

This is a process. And it is long. But it is also a part of a testimony. And one day soon, this testimony will be complete.

When people hurt and wound your soul,
The anger comes and binds the heart.

When life goes wrong and love is gone,
The anger comes to remind of flaws.

When trouble arises and fortune downsizes,
The anger comes to steal life’s light.

When peace flees and joy surrenders,
The anger comes to destroy what’s tender.

Anger. Anger. Anger.
A forbidden emotion.
A delicate, dancing explosion.

It circles the mind,
And reminds the soul,
Of all that which was,
Of all that could be,
Of all that was lost.

It kills delight’s seed,
It scars joy’s relief,
It breaks the happy,
It discourages the blessed.

Anger. Anger. Anger.
A forbidden emotion.
A delicate, dancing explosion.

What would life be,
Without anger?
Where would life go,
Without anger?
What would life see,
Without anger?

But do we know –
Though anger sows,
Discord –
That it’s an emotion,
Most necessary?

We live in a world,
Imperfect.
We walk in a life,
Broken.
We stand in existence,
Vulnerable.

Anger. Anger. Anger.
A forbidden emotion.
A delicate, dancing explosion.

We need it. We hate it. We all experience it.
But we don’t know how to release it.
That we must release it,
Through forgiveness.

Forgiveness.
A forbidden life-sentence.
A delicate, dancing expression.

Of love.

Anger.
Forgiveness.
Love.

What’s worth what?

A short time ago, my coworker was going through myspace and he pulled up a picture of my old ship captain and showed it to me. Now, not that I am one to purposefully hold a grievance. No. I’m a pretty easy forgiver. But there are certain incidents that are hard even for me to recover from enough to forgive.

This captain caused me a great deal of grief and hurt. Not that I believe he consciously desired to hurt me. But human nature being what it is, well, he did. His actions, along with a few others, drove me to a mental state of such despair that I feared I would never recover. I almost killed myself over this incident. And I would not wish that kind of pain on my worst enemy.

So when my coworker innocently showed me a picture of a man I haven’t even seen for over seven months…I had to look away. I couldn’t look at him. I could feel dark emotions beginning to churn within me and in order to keep them from suddenly arising and drowning me in anger, I turned away.

I thought I had forgiven him. And perhaps consciously I had. But my reaction to that picture told me that there was still a very bitter grudge beneath the surface of my emotions. And I didn’t know how to make it go away.

Listen, brothers and sisters. It’s real cute when we say offences come but it’s our choice to receive them. But it’s not reality. Many offences will punch you beneath the belt whether you gave them permission to or not. And guess what? It’s going to hurt whether you pretend it does or not. So what am I saying? We are going to battle with forgiveness whether we admit we do or pretend we don‘t.

I would love to meet the soul who can walk through this life and never hold a single grudge. Oh wait, that was Jesus. Haha. I am going to meet Him one day. J

The wonderful thing about this is that at our weakest, God is strongest. You see, it is one thing for us to not walk in forgiveness and have no desire whatsoever to do so, and a total different thing for us desire to forgive but really struggle with the execution. In the first situation, God is able to help us. But it’s in the latter that He is fully glorified.

As long as we desire to forgive, our Heavenly Father will take us through a heart process. This is where He rolls up His sleeves, gets down and dirty with our dirt and our hurt, and begins to spread healing through our souls. And as He heals, He coaxes us ever closer toward our goal of forgiving the instigator of our pain. Even if that instigator is ourselves.

So be encouraged. If you are in a hot spot like me where you want to forgive but are finding it just a tad bit out of your reach, just keep walking with God. He will guide our footsteps until we are finally at that place of grudge-free peace. And He will love us through every step of the way.