I don’t trust people that make forgiveness sound as easy as breathing. The person that, when asked, “How do you just let it go?” they respond, “You just let it go!”. Like I have said in my Forgiveness post, I have never been the forgiving type. Especially of folks that have gained my trust, then purposefully stomped all over it. I think some people are just better able to hide their hurt than me. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know. What I do know is for me, forgiveness ain’t easy!
When you take the time to let people into the innermost parts of you, your spouse, a best friend, a leader in your church or community, a parent, and establish a relationship with them, there is trust built. All of these are different types of relationships, with different degrees of closeness/intimacy but the initial ingredient is trust. I believe what you say to me, and I believe that you believe what I say to you. We may fall out at times, disagree, we may have to boldly explain to each other it is what it is, but at the end of the day, the relationship is still intact. Until trust is broken. For me, the first time my trust was severely broken was when my father walked out on our family. The second was when my mother and god-father turned their backs on me. The third was when my life long pastor was exposed of all his wrong doing. And then there is my hubby. (SN: re-reading that, no wonder I have certain views on men! Sheesh!). In all of these situations a feeling of hate oozed through my pores as I focused on the hurt they had inflicted on me! All of these men (and my mom) had done the unthinkable to me, at different stages of my life. And like I explained in my That Man post, I realized this summer, I needed to forgive. And I had to learn how.
I have heard many sayings about forgiveness: It’s for you, not for them; unforgiveness is like wanting them to die but you take the poison; unforgiveness is allowing people into your head space, rent free. All of it is so corny, so annoying and so true.
Listen, God does not want you to stay in a place of hurt, or unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is a tool of the enemy to keep you bound. There is no growth there. There is no life there. God can’t forgive you (Matthew 6:14-15), He can’t grow you up and grow you out, He can’t bless you like He absolutely wants to, He can’t put you on the active list of Kingdom Workers. All because you are caught in something He so desperately wants to free you of. The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Him! 1 Peter 5:7 says ” casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”. To cast your anxiety on Him is to tell Him about it. Our first job is confessing. Confess your hate, your unforgiveness. I have had to confess that I didn’t want to want to forgive. That is when God can begin to work. He is too in love with you, to see you (spiritually) die in unforgiveness. Lights began to go off in your head when you realize this. My relationship with Christ will be strained, it will be less than what it should be, because I can’t forgive!! That is the real reason why forgiveness is for you, not them! So that your relationship with Christ, your testimony will be as strong and tall as it was meant to be! Unforgveness doesn’t punish the offender. Whoever did whatever to you has to deal with God HIMSELF, and He will deal with them so much better than you or I ever could! If we allow Him. Your forgiveness unties God’s hands so that He is able to move adequately, for you and for the offender!
Everyday I have to ask for a daily portion of mercy for others. I know that I am hard on people. I know I don’t easily forgive. I recognize it. I recognize the hurt that I may feel because of others, I have to confess it, and I have to plead with God for help. On the days that I don’t ask for help it is evident. On the days that the enemy has his beady lil eyes hooked on me, it is evident. Like Sunday. No one is really aware of the things that ran through my mind because I refuse to even speak them. But it was not good. Seeing her was a distinct reminder of the darkest period of my life. This is why my relationship with Christ is SO important to me! It was a hard day, but He gave me what I needed to get through it! It was by the skin of my teeth but I lived another day to forgive and to get it right!
It’s a process for me. Minute by minute. I guess for others, it is different (wish I was them!). But for me, it is my hurdle, my Achilles heel, it’s what I struggle with. But God sees fit to give me what I need. I am united with Christ in my faith that I will overcome this, for the good of my testimony.
Someone inboxed me, struggling with this very subject. It’s hard right? I surely don’t have all the answers to this seemingly complex topic. I encourage getting deep in your Word, surrounding yourself with Godly encouragement (sermons, music, other Christians, etc, books, TD Jakes just released Let It Go, I haven’t read it yet though). You want to learn to forgive, learn to ‘get over it”? “Ask it and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be open” (Matthew 7:7). I think we need to remember that forgiveness does not mean we should always expect to be restored with the person that offended us. Sometimes, the offense is made, forgiveness has taken place and it is time to move on. Romans 12:18 says “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. There is a saying, people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I think it’s important to discern who is what. I’m glad that the husband is a lifetime, and that we’ve been allowed a lifetime to get this right. In my marriage, we are both at a place where we desire to be restored to the place God would have us be, not where we were. Oddly enough, my father was a season in my life. While that still makes me sad, I’m smart enough to know that God does all things well. I may not know His reasons for allowing any of the bad things in my life to happen, but I know His will is perfect and staying there is safe. So that is where you can find me, with my battered heart, my desire to forgive and my thirst to please Him.
Jehovah Jireh, My provider - He will provide forgiveness to me and for me to give others when I earnestly ask. Genesis 22:14, 1 John 4:9, Philippians 4:19
Jehovah Shalom, My peace - It is amazing to me the place where God has brought me from. I still have hurt, I still get down, I still have tear stained eyes, but I have peace. Isaiah 9:6, Romans 8:31-35
Jehovah Seli’, Lord My Rock - When I can’t depend on anyone else, I can depend on Him. He will take care of it! Psalms 18:2
Jehovah Bara, Lord Creator - He made me, He understands me best. Isaiah 40:28
Jehovah Tsidkenu, My Righteousness - He can impart wisdom on what God intends for us, so that our lives will be pleasing. 1 Corinthians 1:30
I am not saying you won’t hurt, because you probably will. And maybe for you it will be a process. But if the outcome is a closer relationship with Christ, it’s worth it. Betrayal of any kind is hard to overcome, but with Jehovah, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!
Write ya later! :-)