I think the word forgiveness can be used quite loosely and not always fully appreciated by the person who says; ‘I forgive them’. I think we have perhaps forgotten, or in some cases have never been aware of how to totally forgive. There is a very clear example that God has given to demonstrate to us how to forgive. He tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven. It’s right there in the Lords prayer! This was a eureka moment for myself. It’s like someone had opened my eyes and I suddenly knew where I was going wrong.
About a year ago I underwent a course of Christian counselling as a few things were getting the better of me and that suitcase of personal baggage was getting pretty heavy by now! We talked about various different things and forgiveness was regularly brought up and I was encouraged to forgive various different people as we sorted through the suitcase. This felt good, however, it just stopped there. I was left feeling a bit confused. Had I really forgiven all those people? I said I had...but had I? I still didn’t feel overly great towards them.
It was only when I heard this final message that I realised I had a bit of unfinished business. There is a bit more to it than just saying you forgive them. God has called us to forgive as we have been forgiven. It is only when I was reminded that Jesus died on the cross for our sins that I really began to understand. That God forgives our sins and then chooses not to remember them. He doesn’t bring them up again later and throw it in our face or go telling others about it. Our sins are forgiven and forgotten. God then chooses to bless us. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins we are forgiven, they are forgotten, we are blessed and we are then at peace with God.
This is where the challenge begins. So when somebody wrongs us we have to forgive. That means to hold no grudge or bitterness towards that person. We are to keep it to ourselves and not to blab their wrong doings to anyone and everyone. Then for the hardest part, we need to ask God to bless them. Only then can we feel a real peace about it. This may need to be done on a daily basis to keep that peace as sometimes it is harder to forgive for the things that hurt deep down.
Author: Samantha Tarplin
May God bless and enrich your life
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