Recently, I implored a good friend of mine to forgive someone that had wronged her, betrayed her and still continues to stomp on her heart. Furiously she responded ‘that would feel like death to forgive him’!
Ahh yes to offer forgiveness upon our enemies would appear to be weak, backing down and death to our soul. In my experience it is this death that leads to a beautiful resurrection, my Bible assures me that in the Kingdom of God ‘to lose our life is to gain it’! How do we gain life? Extend forgiveness to our enemies.
Forgiveness will bring healing to your body and your broken heart, do your part and truly forgive them and God will do His part to help you heal from the emotional pain that has held you captive to the past. Like me, you may forgive a person but still have ill feeling towards him or her, the truth is you cannot truly forgive without the Holy Spirit’s help, no amount of self-determination or strong will can achieve complete love and forgiveness.
Our human nature is to be led by our feelings, some of my well-meaning friends retort, ‘be strong, don’t let him get away with that… it’s a dog eat dog world’, even at the mention of forgiveness! I readily admit that forgiveness is unfair. However, if we do not forgive we will become resentful, The word resentment literally means ‘to feel again’, as Philip Yancey, author of What’s So Amazing About Grace, succinctly put it: “… resentment clings to the past, relives it over and over, picks each fresh scab so that the wound never heals”.
Despite what the world says, a strong courageous woman is a forgiving woman. Granting forgiveness doesn’t feel natural, but if we do not transcend nature, we remain in bondage to the past, held captive to the people we cannot forgive. Author and Pastor, Timothy Keller refers to the act of forgiveness , as feeling like a death initially but it is a death that leads to resurrection “Forgiveness must be granted before it can be felt, but it does come eventually. It leads to a new peace, a resurrection”. Although a most unnatural act, forgiveness offers a way out and as you choose to forgive, I assure you, faith will carry you beyond your feelings and by His spirit, God will give you the courage and strength to forgive your enemies, wish them well and let them go their way.
Who do you need to forgive? Release your grip on them today and you will be set free to soar high above the circumstances which have held you back for so long now. x