Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Fish Catcher Jim, Jun 8, 2015.
This is something I REALLY struggled with for ages.
It was only once I realised and truly believed that we are all God's children, that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, that forgiveness came easier for me.
We all have family members that have rubbed us up the wrong way at one time or another and we mostly forgive them because they are our flesh and blood.
Now that I look at everyone like that loving them and forgiving them is much easier.
I praise and thank God for opening my eyes to this not least because I am so much happier for it.
The reason why I forgive easily is because in fifth grade, I truly felt what hate feels like. It hurt me physically. I never want to feel that again. So I forgive, and I don't hold grudges. I also forgive easily because God told us to forgive so I am obligated to.
As I have grown older, I have found that as I forgive others, it is necessary to search my feelings and make sure that I am not harboring a resentment buried beneath the surface.
Having forgiven someone changes us, but it does not necessarily change them. It can really be a test if someone that you have 'forgiven' continues to display the behavior that caused you to need to forgive.
We need to be able to draw on the Lord's strength to continue in a spirit of forgiveness when the forgiven remains unchanged.
This does not mean that we need to be subservient to the nature of those that offend us, but we need to trust in the Lord to guide us to exhibit His strength.
As part of my preparation for confirmation my bible study group, led by our minister, read a book called Jesus, His home, His journey, His challenge by David J Bryan.
Chapter 5 talks about loving our neighbour and forgiveness. It quotes Jesus of course but also Ghandi, the Dali Lama and Martin Luther King Jnr.
King talks about how hate distorts the personality of the hater and explains that he thinks that Jesus told us to love our enemies because love has within it redemptive power.
I agree with him. And I strongly recommend the book. (Although, if like me, your formal education finished at age 16 you will need a dictionary along with your bible - Mr Bryan is a very educated man).
Through every day, learning to walk in forgiveness from the heart is truly something to beheld. I learn that even a simple grumbling at someone for their personal habits...causes a change in my attitude. And it also feels as if the things that i do are in error. I mean they do not turn out right. Not even talking to another person.
God is showing me that if i desire to be successful in every area...i must continually walk in love and forgiveness. And i believe that the two go hand in hand and it flows to many areas in our lives including physical and emotional, and mental. In James 3:16 it says that where envy and strife are, there is every evil thing. So strife and unforgiveness opens the door to the enemy to harass you. And if you back up to the 14th verse....then we find that it says that if ee have bitter envying and strife in our hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth......15) this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish. Those are some pretty strong words to show us that strife and unforgiveness (which stems from strife) are not of God and should be avoided at all costs.
Vs. 18 says that the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace......forgiveness in ones heart towards someone that caused them pain is in my opinion making peace, and produces righteousness. And is fully in line with 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 And Matthew 5:44
Sorry to go off topic...but it just flowed out
Just to add one more small comment........ I think that sometimes we forget that forgiveness is mostly about us. When we forgive we are telling God that we trust Jesus work on the cross, we are trusting Him to seek revenge if it is necessary, and that we are fully willing to obey His commandments.
God knows that His ways revolve around love and if we are to be in His favor....we must do the same
I'm not sure how trusting Jesus to seek revenge is glorifying to Him...
I do know that the Lord is a vengeful God, but we must be placing all thoughts like that in His hands and not presume to trust Him to seek vengeance on your behalf, or because of a wrong you have suffered.
Vengeance, when the Lord does visit it on someone is not to defend one of His children, but as a warning to those that still may be turned to Him.
I apologize....for i probably should have said it a different way. What i meant was that by forgiving we put our trust in Him that God will take care of us and we leave the salvation of the other person, or correcting the other person, or the teaching of that person His ways....up to Him. I didn't mean that we forgive trusting that God is up there with a lightning bolt ready to zap anyone. But as you said we leave that persons life and how God chooses to speak to them up to Him. Plus as we pray for them....then we are interceeding for them as well....and all that pleases God.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to explain and set my thoughts straight
Grace and peace be yours in abundance
In the mid 80s, I was on staff at a ministry house in Portland, Oregon. Ppl would come in sick wit all sorts of maladies. They would be led on a walk thru forgiveness. During that time they took a piece of paper or more, if needed. On the top of one side they wrote, "Those I have hurt." On the other side, "Those who have hurt me." They would ask the Holy Spirit to quicken their hearts and reveal to them those who needed to be listed on whichever side. They also had to forgive themselves for harboring resentment and unforgiveness. There were ppl listed on both sides of the paper. As they walked thru the lists, they would forgive and ask forgiveness.
Many, many times the ppl would be healed of whatever was ailing them during this process. We asked the ppl to return to the Dr to be checked out. We had lots of praise reports after the Dr's appts.
I had gone thru a divorce before being on staff. I went through forgiveness this same way. The hurt, anger and resentment was healed in my heart.
I also had a stepmother who did everything she could to hurt my wife and daughter, verbally, with my Dad stuck in the middle. I applied this same principle and the hurt has been healed as well.
When you forgive someone, the enemy uses triggers to get you thinking about the situation again. You have to be diligent to fight off the attack by forgiving and releasing them again. The more you stand and fight, you find it the triggers not being as much of a problem for you.
I had to dig in and search out forgiveness for myself. You can do it because your told to, or you can dig it out of the Word of God yourself.
Burdens are removed, lives changed and freedom like never known before are waiting for you!