The Truth about Forgiveness

Sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is our self. We struggle with forgiving the intrusion inflicted on us by others; but we often find it easier to forgive their insults and violation than to forgive our self.

 

If we refuse to forgive others, the resulting bitterness is a malignancy, which invades our body, soul and spirit; yet, if we choose to forgive, we do not excuse their behavior, but we set our self free from the bondage unforgiveness causes (Ephesians 4:31-32).

 

Our refusal to forgive our self, will inflict these same results in our body, soul and spirit (Proverbs 10:12). We grow bitter at our self for disappointing our self or someone else, or for failing to meet up to our own idealistic standards.

 

Bitterness attracts other negative emotions, such as shame, depression and hopelessness. We accuse our self of ineptitude, carelessness, greediness and thoughtlessness.

 

When we make choices that turn out badly, we are disappointed and hold a grudge against our self. These grudges fester and affect our future choices, our reactions to others and our feelings about our self (Hebrews 12:15).

 

We end up in a downward spiral, which keeps us locked into negative thoughts, emotions and future behavior (Colossians 3:8). Therefore, it is imperative that we forgive even our self (Luke 6:37; Proverbs 20:22).

 

There is no sin too wicked to receive God’s forgiveness. God’s Word tells us that to lust is equal to fornication or rape, and to hate is the same as murder (Matthew 5:21, 28). God considers all sins equal in their depravity.

 

When we forgive our self and others, we humble our pride, admit that we are human and open our soul up to God’s immeasurable grace (Hebrews 4:16). When bitterness no longer takes up space in our heart, we feel God’s peace and joy filling the void.

 

We bask in God’s love for us, and His love empowers us to love our self and others. God calls us to forgive our human tendency to wound our self and one another (Psalm 103:12).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us humility through our foibles and failures. It is only in our weakness that we reach out to You. Help us to understand that to forgive our self and others is to free our self from the bondage of bitterness and unforgiveness (John 18:15-27).

 

Help us to relax our impossible standards and to allow our self and others to be human (Philippians 3:13). Remind us that our prayers are hindered by negative emotions; yet, when we forgive and focus on the life of Christ within us, You can forgive us and open the windows of heaven to pour out Your blessings on our life (Mark 11:25; Malachi 3:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we choose to forgive our self and others for being human, we allow our self the opportunity to experience the forgiveness and unconditional love of God in all of its fullness. – 1 John 1:9

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No Reputation

People often filter what we say through the lenses of their own experiences and come to a faulty conclusion. This gives us two options: to try to correct their perception or to ignore their remarks. I usually endeavor to clarify what I said, but if they still misunderstand, then I just change the subject. I learned to do this because of Jesus’ example. He did not attempt to maintain His reputation.

When He was reviled and misunderstood, He did not berate in return (1 Peter 2:23-24). His life was the epitome of kindness, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance, and ours can be too (Ephesians 4:32). Whether the offense is a major event, such as physical abuse, or if it consists of habitual, smaller impositions such as lies and betrayal, we can still forgive the offenders (Matthew 5:44).

When we consider the life of Christ and what He endured on this earth, it helps us not to grow weary of the way we are overlooked, discounted, abused, ridiculed and exploited (Hebrews 12:3). When we bless those who curse us and pray for those who hurt or use us (Luke 6:28), God continually blesses us and gives us so many reasons to rejoice (Psalm 109:28).

We do not act as a doormat, but we do turn the other cheek. We do not submit to abuse, but we do forgive the abuser. We can care for and nurture our needs and still love others through the love of God in us. It is only by sincerely wishing others the best, that our healing is complete. The only person in our life, which we need to impress, is God; and He loves us enough to die for us.

Prayer:
Father God, make us vessels of Your peace; when we are condemned, help us to bless; when we are wounded, help us to share Your healing love with the offender. Remind us that You did not defend your reputation and there is no reason for us to do so either. Your opinion of us is the only one that really matters. Keep us focused on eternity and help us to realize that this world will soon end.

Thought for the Day
If we do not repay evil or insult in kind, but give love in return, we will inherit God’s blessings. – 1 Peter 3:9