AHH, forgiveness! To apologize, to ask for forgiveness or to forgive someone can be very difficult, especially when our feelings and emotions are hurt. Still, God calls us to love – to forgive. As mighty women, we must embrace it.
HOW TO FORGIVE?
I've had my own share of unforgiveness plaguing my heart. I recently had to deal with one. This time it came in disguise. It was through an offense. Although it was not directed to me, but to a family member, still, it invaded my heart.
What was written in a text triggered me. I felt attacked. In general, peace is my indicator that things are good. Suddenly I had none! To me, as soon as peace leaves, oh-oh, something’s not right. The impact made me feel anxious, upset, provoked.
Beware of that kind of emotional impact, it is probably a perfect time to ask yourself: "Why am I feeling like this?"
Awareness is the first step to freedom. If you can’t tell or pinpoint when something is wrong, most likely you will not be able to find the freedom you need.
I could feel unforgiveness knocking at the door, my heart was racing, this thing was trying to beat me down.
Offense, hate, unforgiveness are the kind of spiritual influences that if not dealt with, they can make you emotionally and physically sick. I know that now!
It can get ugly in the heart pretty quickly if we don't do something.
MAKE A CHOICE
We need to do something! When you are impacted by unforgiveness or any other negative or evil emotion, check your heart. See what you can find. Regardless if it's a new hurt like mine or an old one, we must deal with it.
As followers of Jesus, we have Jesus in our hearts, God's Spirit lives in us. That means you and I have excellent help to do what it takes to forgive, to be free of resentment, disappointment, offense, insecurity, all of these and other ugly emotions.
As hard as it seems, make a choice to forgive. At this moment, think on what God has asked you to do, to forgive.
Ok. Some good news! Whatever God calls you to do, you can be sure He will also empower you to do it.
EMPOWERED TO FORGIVE
First things first! Ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to forgive. To enable means to help you – to empower you - to supernaturally give you the ability to accomplish something you can't do on your own. Ask, be open to receive!
Next, it's time for a real and sincere conversation. Acknowledge how you feel. Go ahead, vent! Tell someone you trust how you feel. Someone who will not judge or criticize you. I admit those are very hard to find.
If there is no one in your life who you can feel free talk to, tell God. God loves you, He can be trusted. Give Him your full confession. Believe it or not, by doing this you will open the gate to allow healing to begin.
Next, get cleaned up. Allow yourself to receive freedom. Ask God to forgive you for carrying or keeping unforgiveness in your heart. Move into freedom, make use of one of God's best promises that relate to freedom. You can find this promise in 1 John 1:9.
Say this (mean it in your heart!):
“I forgive __________ (name the person) for _______________ (the reason, matter or situation in this case) ___________, in the Name of Jesus.
I choose to forgive. I choose love. I let go of every ___________ (include every memory, all ugly thoughts, feelings and emotions you can think of) that would try to get me caught up and make my soul twisted, entangling my mind and heart with evil.
I want nothing to do with darkness. I close all the doors opened, the ones I know to be opened and the doors I don’t even know I have opened. All doors closed right now in the Name of Jesus.
I replace every damaged area and all ugly emotions in my mind, will, and emotions with God’s truth. I choose to reconnect my heart to God’s love, life, presence, peace, wisdom and joy in the Name of Jesus.”
GIVE A GIFT THEY DON’T DESERVE!
Think of forgiveness as a gift she or he does not deserve. God did it for you when He forgave you. By grace, you are forgiven, with God you can extend that grace to others.
Ok, it’s time to make contact. Sometimes there is no easy or exact way to do this. Sometimes you have to meet someone in person, call, or write.
Other times you can’t because perhaps they have passed away, you don’t know who or where they are, or it’s just not safe for you to contact them.
A lot of us have use special pages in our journals as a written symbolic point of contact to take responsibility and choose forgiveness.
Regardless of the way you decide to show your position to forgive, just do it. Please, don’t leave it for later. Give freedom, and get freedom!
Give a gift that they do not deserve. Let that person know you no longer hold anything against them in your heart. Just say it! I forgive you. Be real, be true.
God will help you and them through it. Love never fails... and forgiveness always gives freedom to the heart! Mainly ours...
It is important for you to know that because you forgave someone this does not mean that you need to start or continue a relationship with that person(s).
Remember, this is a matter of the heart and about you letting go and letting God do something. Your part is to forgive, leave the rest to God; He will show you if there is more to it.
When it comes to God’s spiritual things, we don’t necessarily go by feelings. We go by the truth of God’s Word and what He has to say about that matter.
You may or may not feel different after forgiving or asking for forgiveness... that does not mean it did not happen. That doesn’t mean you are not free. Feelings shift, they are sometimes fleeting, temporary. God’s truth is real. God's love brings freedom, our heart changes. Give it time. Trust God. Let Him do His thing!
One last thing! Sometimes (a lot of times) the person who need forgiveness is YOU. Take a moment to look inside. God already forgave you, now it's time to forgive yourself. If God doesn't remember your sins, why would you go on living life carrying such huge burden? Be brave - forgive, forget, be free!
Say this out loud:
“I forgive myself for ______________. I hold nothing against me. I will not allow evil influences and negative thoughts to infiltrate my mind, will, and emotions.
I choose to let go of any guilt, shame and tormenting thoughts that would keep me from moving forward. I know God loves me, I choose to love myself.”
Love you mighty woman,