Perhaps the most favorite theme for me to write about is forgiveness. To forgive is powerful. It is the very essence of who God is. If God didn’t forgive our sins, we are all doomed even before we were born. I can’t even imagine what that could be like nor do I even want to imagine.
Along with forgiveness is humility. Realizing that I am not God would be the first step in the act of forgiveness. Of course the presence of hurt is a factor. We falter as humans, we are also prideful. But if we earnestly believe that a merciful God exists and wants to be first place in our lives, we are able to give our lives over to Him and let him deal with our issues. Similarly, we should openly confess and examine our own faults, submit to God and be willing to make the change. Lastly, we need to evaluate all of our relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us, make amens for harm we have done.
So why forgive? Why not just forget about the people we don’t want to have anything to do with because of the hurt they’ve caused?
Because resentment is not effective. In unforgiveness you become resentful and bitter. “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.” Job 5:2
God has forgiven us so we need to do the same to others and because we will need forgiveness in the future. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14
But how? What are the steps in forgiving? First we have to admit our hurt and then confess it. Some of us go through other ways such as repressing the hurt, ignoring the hurt or suppressing the hurt. None of which work. To forgive, we need to release the power of those who have hurt us in our life. Then we need to release the offender. Pour out your heart then forgive that person using an empty chair, or write a letter you don’t intend to mail. Lastly, pursue God’s peace. It is the kind of peace that when experienced, is far more wonderful than any human mind can understand. Philippians 4:7
Alternatively, if you are the one who caused another’s hurt, you need to make amends. How? with humility, without excuses, with no exceptions, with restitution and with sensitivity. Then refocus your life on doing God’s will.
This is a very tall order for sinful and imperfect people such as us but to be honest, once you have made a decision to be godly, you are inspired to always do the right thing! We are all works in progress, but the least we can do is make an effort for God, right?
Until my next rant… LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!