"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32)
Forgiveness does not come naturally to us. When we are offended, hurt, damaged by another person's words or actions our natural reaction is to be unforgiving. We want to hold a grudge, cut them out of our lives, hurt them back, or wallow in victimhood. Unforgiveness is easy and quite often it actually feels good because, afterall, you are justified in your unforgiveness. They hurt you or someone you love so it's alright to not forgive them, right?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Unforgiveness is insidious and when rooted deeply in insufficient soil it will produce a crop of bitterness to be fed to all of those around you. "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." (Hebrews 12:14-15) The truth is that the person who pays most for your unforgiveness is you. You pay in resentment, disconnection from God, anger, broken relationships, unrest, distrust, and in physical manifestations such as sickness, depression, and anxiety.
I titled this post 'Finding Forgiveness" because I believe we do have to find it, we have to find it for ourselves and then in turn give it to others. I also believe that true forgiveness can only be found through the cross. Christ forgave you for what you have done through His death on the cross. He also forgave 'them' for what they would do to you. If you will look closely you will see Jesus on the cross, shedding His blood for anything you have or would ever do, as well as for anything anyone else would ever do against you. He paid the price for your sin, as well as for all of theirs. He felt the weight of your sin, as well as the weight of all the sin committed against you. Nothing was left out. So when we are in unforgiveness we are saying that what Christ did on the cross was not enough. We negate the fullness of our redemption.
If you are still holding onto a wrong, if you are still grasping at the noose of revenge, wanting to pull it tightly around the neck of the person who hurt you, if you are still clinging to your hurt and wielding it as a weapon of unforgiveness, I implore you to put it down---let it go. God wants to free you of your unforgiveness. You have perhaps unwittingly put yourself in a prison created by your own hands. Unforgiveness robs us of the life God intends for us. It gives the enemy an opening to derail and perpetually attack us. It suggests we don't trust what Christ did on the cross to remedy the problem. (Excerpted from my forthcoming book, Rescued, Redeemed, Remade: Rising Out Of An Abusive Past)
Find Forgiveness because Forgiveness found you at the cross...
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qUIET IN CHAOS
Quiet in Chaos is a blog about nothing, everything, and all things inbetween…it’s a space, an ellipsis, a deep pause. Life can be chaotic, and often needs more moments of quiet…So join me as I share and give through the written word, the place I find my Quiet in Chaos…