Have you ever been hurt? Have you ever been lied to or talked about? Who’s ever had a reason to be mad at someone or something? I mean… I think if we’re honest, we all have had reasons to be angry with someone.
So my topic I want to talk about with you all is forgiveness. It’s is an important action that can lead to a place of greater healing and peace. Forgiving, and letting go of anger and resentment, has even shown to benefit a person’s physical health. Whhhhhat??? So you’re saying if I don’t forgive someone I can have crappy health?? Yep. Basically.
However, as we all know, forgiveness doesn’t come easily.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the quote “Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” That’s intense, but so true..
I know I don’t want to live that way so I have a few points that I feel could show us in what way we could be harboring un-forgiveness so that we can address it and find healing to move on.
- Forgive others
It’s so easy to hold onto grudges. Especially if you have to see the person who hurt you often. I understand how hard that can be. It’s like every time you see them you have a sick feeling in your stomach.. Like “do I really have to see them right now?” Do you know what they did to me?? Do you know what they said or how they treated me? I mean… CMON…. I have every reason to be upset and have an attitude. I shouldn’t have to be nice to them.
On the other hand, have you ever been in this situation and felt that nudge in your heart to say hi to them, to help them if they need it, or to reach out to them even though they hurt you? That’s the Holy Spirit trying to lead you into forgiveness.
Choose to let it go. Choose to love them even when you’re upset. Just because you forgive them doesn’t mean you’re saying what they’ve done to you is ok. It just means you’re choosing to be mature and make the choice to move past it and not let it effect your life.
- Forgive yourself
THIS ONE RIGHT HERE. This one gets me. I’m my own worst critic, I think we all can be, but it’s caused me to really harbor unkind thoughts about myself. I didn’t really notice it for a few years. I would think a few mean thoughts about myself here and there. “You’re a failure. You’re awful. How could you do that?” “You’re a bad mother. You’re a bad friend.” The list goes on and on and on. These thoughts have resulted in a lot of self esteem issues. Until one time I heard a sermon about forgiveness. At the end of the sermon the pastor had asked if anyone needed prayer. “Raise your hand if you need to forgive someone?” No. Not that one. I forgive others easily. “Raise your hand if you need to forgive yourself” HOLD UP. WAIT, WHAT?? That’s a thing? Like you can have un-forgiveness towards yourself? I checked my heart to see if this was something I felt spoke to me. Immediately I started to tear up. I realized this was something I had been doing. Something I still do to this day, but I’m trying to change that.
This is when talking to yourself in a positive way is HUGE. I’m a good person. Im strong. Im in the right place at the right time doing the right things. Im a good mom. Im a good friend. Ive been doing this daily and have already noticed a difference in the thoughts I’ve had, or better yet, haven’t had.
- Forgive God
I’m going to go out on a limb with this one… I don’t mean forgiving God because he needs it. I don’t mean forgiving God because he’s done ANYTHING wrong to need your forgiveness. I’m talking about forgiving God because you need it.. I’m sure there are times in your life where something has happened and immediately you’ve questioned God. “Why did you let this happen??” “Why did they have to die?” “Why did they have to break up with me or leave me?” “Why did I have to lose my job?” I’m sure sometimes when we ask those questions to God… they may go un-answered and it can cause those unresolved hurts to have un-forgiveness towards God that is completely misplaced but happens more often then we realize.
This is when we have to ask God to forgive us for our unforgiveness towards Him that he doesn’t even deserve. Trusting in him that he has all the answers and he knows whats best for you.
I want you to take a moment to check your spirit. We learn in church about the Holy Spirit and how he lives on the inside of us, so lets apply what we’ve been taught and look inward for a second..
Ask yourself, in which way could you be harboring un-forgiveness?
Am I having trouble forgiving my spouse, my friend, my pastor, my family? Did something happen that I haven’t let go of and it’s causing me to have a bad attitude towards that person? NO?
Is it possible I’m having a hard time forgiving myself? For the things I didn’t do or the words I shouldn’t of said. Maybe it’s the thoughts. NO?
God hurt me. He didn’t answer my prayer and give me that hot Australian man who wears flannel and has a beard… (totally joking with this one, if you could hear my voice right now you’d laugh along with me lol) He didn’t keep my sister from dying. He let that person walk out of my life and I just can’t believe He would do that to me.
Which one is resonating in your soul? You don’t have to tell me. That’s between you and God. Only you can let go of unforgiveness and move past it, you can’t expect anyone else to do it for you.
“Oh if they would do this then I’d forgive them.”
“Well if I’d stop making so many mistakes I could forgive myself”
“If God would just give me what I’ve been praying for then I would be happy and let it go.”
There’s always going to be a reason to forgive someone, because we live in a world where we get offended by everything. And once you forgive 1 person… a few days later you’re going to have to forgive someone else. It’s a never ending cycle, but the quicker you are to forgive, the easier it will be when those offenses come your way.
Forgiveness could change your life if only you’d allow God to come in and heal you. Don’t put it off. I want you to live a life set free from all unforgiveness and I know God does too.