It’s amazing how many in the body of Christ are living in lack yet try appear to look oh so happy sitting in Church two or three times each week. What is wrong with this picture? There is lack in health, lack in mindset, lack in self-control, lack in finances, lack in relationships, lack in peace; lack lack lack. The great news is that you can overcome lack through forgiveness. You can. How do I know? God’s Word proclaims it in Philippians 4:13 ‘For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.’ (NLV)
Now don’t get me wrong; I get it. I lived a full life of lack and the attack for longer than I wish to admit. I was the person who sat in the nice Southern Baptist Church and then the non-denominational church for 18 years and guess what? The entire time I lived in lack! Now was it the fault of the church? Nope. It was my fault 1) I didn’t spend time in God’s Word outside of church, 2) I didn’t know how to apply His Word to my life, 3) I didn’t know the lack was not normal, 4) the depth my lack had on me, the people around me; and my future generations.
When everyone around you lives in lack you appear to be happy lackers and don’t even know it it’s hard to see anything different. And look around Body of Christ. Where is the wealth? People are leaving the church and there must be a reason why. It’s when you get it that you get it. It’s time to get free and build His Kingdom! Everyone sitting there was all the same; and now I see it. But it took me a while. My prayer is that you see it ‘today’! I pray in the name of Jesus that the Spirit of Deep Sleep is removed NOW and that you are forever free- and that you can forgive!
What captured me then and even now is the cause of so many Christians living like the walking dead. I see it; and in fact I just prayed for 15 people who are professed Christians and churchgoers who are homeless, fearful about their futures, underemployed, hopeless-broke, busted, disgusted, distrusted and crusted. This is what they have believed their lives have become- all in the name of Jesus. What is so wrong that we have diminished God’s Word to mean to little- and then accept it. Remove the lies and the lack goes to. That mindset and pain has left them all in pretty much the same place- living in lack and unforgiveness.
See; until you get that forgiveness is the key to everything you can just sit with your pitiful self. You won’t go anywhere- how can you? Let’s not forget it was Jesus that died for your sins- all the while asking the Father to forgive- and so how do you honestly think think that anything in your life would ever change should you not forgive? It simply will not happen. Trust me. So you can choose- life or death. Lack or forgiveness. Period. Just make a choice. And let me remind you- not choosing is still choosing.
I didn’t know the impact of lack on my life. I lived with such angst that I destroyed myself. But hey- I went to church! I will tell you that church won’t save you, your government won’t save you, and your psychologist can’t save you either. But Jesus can. Through forgiveness your life can be renewed. Acts 3:19 is clear: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (NIV) You can be restored to what you have lost or plainly just given away. You can stop the madness and the trying and the idea of ‘If only I do this’ yeah sure. I did that and dated him- it didn’t work. It only created more lack. But forgiveness will change that.
So let be straight in case you missed it. If you want abundance and not lack you need to forgive. If you want to overcome you need to forgive. If you claim to be a Christian and are not living in forgiveness it’s time to pick up your cross and start walking. There is no once saved always saved. It is today! If you want to be blessed and grow in Christ- you need to forgive. You cannot have anything good in your life living in disobedience to His Word when it is a command to forgive! Matthew 6:14 is clear: ‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.’ (NIV)
You can live a full life. I know this because I am still standing. I have had more parents than Elizabeth Taylor has has husbands and I know what lack is all about. I know the pain of abandonment, the fear of the future; and the God that loves. I wouldn’t be able to write this if I didn’t already pick up my cross; I had to. And so do you if you want to overcome lack through forgiveness. I know too that without a doubt forgiveness is the only way through. Stop the lack. Forgive. And then live in Jesus Name.
With forgiveness comes many benefits. Alike; through unforgiveness there are many consequences. One must choose. The benefits of a lifestyle of forgiveness are vast in nature and should you want to live in victory or in abundance of God’s Word; then forgiveness must be the choice. Of course today there are simply five; but rest assured there are many more available to those who are ready to receive.
1. Forgiveness Brings Emotional Stability. Unforgiveness and forgiveness both bring emotions; it’s simply a matter of which emotions you wish to exhibit. Through unforgivness comes such emotions as depression, anger, impatience among others. When forgiveness is the chosen path; you will be choosing one filled with joy, peace, patience. When what kills is replaced with what brings life; it is reflected in every area of life and the emotions are one such way that your life will change.
2. Forgiveness Delivers Better health. What’s on the inside manifests outward. It doesn’t matter if good or bad; both manifest outward. Unforgiveness is known to be linked to arthritis, hypertension and other painful ailments. The best way to get healing obviously would be through Jesus Christ since He is the Healer; but also through forgiveness in His name. See; Acts 3:19 is clear to ‘Repent, and seek forgiveness so that times of refreshing may come.’ (NIV) It is through this that there can be deliverance. When internal clutter is removed it allows the body to be transformed. In my personal life; when I forgave those who hurt me my eye color changed. I was no longer who I was and my physical body showed it. Forgiveness really is the greatest weight loss and cheapest face lift!
3. Forgiveness Enhances relationships. The best way to enhance your relationships and even keep them is to forgive. Harboring unforgiveness only keeps people at a distance from you and it decreases your ability to create any time of intimacy. It is bondage that protects when in actually it doesn’t protect it harms more! Unforgiveness along with its symptoms diminishes partnerships, friendships, marriages and any other type of relationship it can. Be on watch and forgive so that your relationships will be enhanced through forgiveness.
4. Forgiveness Increases in opportunities. With a clean and forgiving heart there is love; and more love than you can ever imagine. And who doesn’t want to be part of that? Who doesn’t want to experience love? Through forgiveness opportunities will increase simply because of what flows from you to others. Forgiving people are patient, they are givers, they are enjoyable to be around. Those traits in and of themselves are those that will increase opportunities. If you want better business deals, more effective employees; a date or better marriage forgive. It will change your life.
5. Forgiveness Allows the ability to grow closer to God. Anything you choose in life not of God is not of God and will not bring you closer to God. Period. It is not possible to be for God and then make choices that go against His Word. It’s like saying you love life and then choose abortion; or saying you are for God and hating Israel. The two cannot coincide. Forgiveness removes the separation from God and not only grows you closer to Him; but also increases your wisdom, understanding of Who God is; and the purpose for your life. You cannot know why He created you unless you know Him. It is through obedience to Him and forgiveness; that your life will change. Trying to get from God through disobedience does not work. It cannot. Let us not forget it was His Son who died for your sins. It is through His Son that you can grow in relationship. Forgiveness is the doorway.
In the end forgiveness is life changing. There is nothing that will enhance your life more than forgiveness; and nothing that it will steal your life than unforgiveness. It’s your choice what you will have in your life and the steps that you are willing to take to get it. The benefits of a lifestyle of forgiveness are the expectation and requirement of every Believer. The benefits of a lifestyle of forgiveness are designed to give you life in abundance; and to the full.
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Your life and death are the choices that begin in your mind. There is nothing that doesn’t occur that doesn’t first start with a thought. Every single thing man creates starts with what is in the mind. Forgiveness is no different. How your mind impacts forgiveness is something that most do not ever think about. Understanding forgiveness and how it relates to your mind will lead to freedom without a doubt.
To get freedom one needs to go no further than Romans 12:2 where it gives instruction clearly: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
There would to be no need for renewing of the mind if the mind were already in accordance with the will of God. Because of how far man has separated himself from God; there is no other option for recourse than a renewing of the mind. If there is no renewing in the mind; there is no forgiveness.
See; forgiveness can only come through a renewing of the mind. If you choose to not be obedient and live in forgiveness; you choose the consequences that come with it. God’s Word is not a joke and God will not be mocked. What you think will become what you will. If you think unforgiveness and that you are above it; your mind will not be renewed to be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. On the other hand; ‘when’ and yes I say ‘when’ you make the choice to get over yourself and forgive; through that process alone you are being renewed and refreshed.
The impact the mind on your life is huge; but also the impact that the mind has on forgiveness is equally as huge. Your life begins with the thoughts you allow in your head. Your mind determines what you see, what you say, what you allow to enter your life. It is a matter of where you choose to allow your mind to focus. The direction of your thoughts will be revealed by the life you life.
In the end; the health of your body and being is dependent upon the health of your mind. The level of forgiveness you have within your heart; it too dependent upon your mind. Do not be deceived into thinking otherwise as God’s Word also tells us in James 1:8 the truth about double-minded men, “Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (NIV) It is only until your mind is singly focused that you will get the results you want to achieve all that you can. This is through not only grasping that the mind impacts forgiveness but recognizing that through forgiveness itself your life will change. In the end; it is a matter of your mind and only you are in complete control of that.
Everything in life begins with a thought. It all does. Sex, shopping; buying a pug. It all begins with a thought. Adam and Eve thought and then looked at the fruit; seeing it was pretty to the eye. Forgiveness is the same. In order to get to a place of forgiving; you need to prepare your mind to forgive. It begins with the thought.
Let’s face it; forgiveness is not easy. This is why the weak do not do it. They can’t. Why can’t they? Because they cannot get their minds to a place of surrendering. The concern with this though is that as a result of choosing not to forgive; they instead choose death by default. How so? God’s Word says. In Deuteronomy 30:19 it plainly reads, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…” (NIV) So it’s a choice. The choice to get your mind prepared is what must be done if you want victory to the full. So it begs the question: what are you really preparing your mind for? You are preparing your mind to:
1. Let Go. Letting go of pain is not an easy task by any means. I remember in 2006/7 NYE when I had to forgive everyone who hurt me in my past I wasn’t sure how. I also wasn’t sure if I could do it to be honest with you. The amount of pain from my biological mother abandoning me was so painful. The pain of my adoptive parents putting me in a homeless shelter was even worse. It all ran so deep. But here is the thing: if I wanted what I wanted I had to. I wanted the torment to go away. I wanted the ministry God sent me to Dallas to start. I wanted freedom!
I had to get my mind in right alignment with God’s Word in Romans 12:2 where it reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV) Until my mind was renewed; nothing would change or at least nothing that I wanted would change. The same for you. Letting go and letting God was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It brought my relationship with Him to a different level because it meant I didn’t have to go it alone. I could drop the burden at His feet and He would be there. He is there for you too; it’s just a matter of your mind reconciling that.
2. Be healed. Healing comes through forgiveness. I didn’t get it until I got it. I didn’t know just how much I would be healed from. I had to get myself in order to be healed and believe that I could and would be. It was hard to say the least. In reality; I didn’t really know what it meant. I just knew I needed to forgive. During the time of forgiving all the people who hurt me I started to feel different. Every person and every act that I had to forgive was hard in the beginning; but then as I forgave more the power within grew. Obviously this would make sense because the more of me that was removed; the more of God was there and able to truly operate. I was able to not only forgive; but receive healing spiritually and physically. Some of the healing that took place was the restoration of relationship with my biological mother and other relationships. In the physical; my voice and eye color changed. Imagine what healing you will have when you get your mind in order to forgive in accordance with His Word.
3. Go forward. Preparing your mind to go forward can be a challenge; especially if you have lived a life in unforgiveness! It’s hard to imagine what life without all the internal turmoil would be like that’s for sure. Unforgiveness keeps you stuck. Period. If you are not receiving all of what God has for you; there is a reason. Most likely that reason is not that God is so mean and is picking on you. That mindset is purely one of a victim sissy living in blame of God when in reality my best guess is if you get truly serious and dig deep and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you; you will find there has been deep rooted unforgiveness manifesting along with about 40 symptoms of it that you probably don’t even know about. It is not possible to live a life moving forward focusing on stuff from the past. I tried. Trust me it doesn’t work. Going forward with unforgiveness is like trying to drive a 2-wheel SUV through a Colorado blizzard wondering why you are stuck. You will need something much stronger to get out! When you get your mind right and are ready to go forward leaving the pain of the past behind your life will change in ways beyond imagine!
See; everything starts in the mind. I didn’t get that until long after I dealt with the amount of unforgiveness I had. I sat in a room for 2 days over NYE 2006/7 dealing with all the unforgiveness I had. I had to deal with it once and for all. There was no turning back; and there really isn’t for you either. This of course if you want the real life that God created you for.
Once I grasped that God’s Word is not a joke when it reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” in John 10:10 my life changed. I got the revelation that what I continued to allow was the enemy to win. It was a war for my life and it is for yours too. It is time for you today to get the reality that should you claim you are a Believer and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. This means you have the power within you to get your mind prepared to forgive; and then forgive. Don’t be deceived into thinking you can’t as that too is a lie. Prepare your mind and get ready for the battle; and the victory waiting for you!
Forgiveness changes things. In fact it changes everything. It changes the heart, soul; and life of the forgiver. There is a perception correct that occurs through forgiveness.
When you live in unforgiveness; you are able to see life from the one vantage point that you have- yours. With unforgiveness in and breeding in you ask yourself: how correct do you think the perceptions you have could be with something so negative living in you? Not sure? Well; then let’s add some of unforgiveness cousins for fun and see! How about a little resentment? Bitterness? Anger? Impatience? Are you starting to get the idea now?
I didn’t realize just how incorrect my perception of everything was. My perception of relationships, perception of my biological mother; and most important my relationship with Christ. My life was being lived based upon incorrect perceptions deeply rooted in unforgiveness. It wasn’t until I forgave that it was corrected. It wasn’t until I forgave that I was able to start living.
One of the biggest perception correction I experienced was regarding my biological mother. What I knew before I forgave her was that she told me she was going to get pizza and never returned. What I knew and remembered was that she didn’t show up to the final visit that we were scheduled to have with the social workers. My perception was that she abandoned me, didn’t want me and surely didn’t love me. My perception was that I was not worthy of love and therefore; unloveable. I lived a life based upon this incorrect perception.
How was this incorrect? Well; when you live in unforgiveness you are not able to see any other vantage point than yours. Once I became obedient to Christ and repented for my unforgiveness toward my mother and then forgave her for abandoning me I was able to listen to her. I was able to hear what she had to say and receive it. What did I receive? More than I ever could have imagined!
My biological mother shared with me that she never intended for me to be placed in foster care. She never intended to ‘not’ show up for the final appointment with the social worker! She went on to share with me that she was given an ultimatum by the social worker: sell me to him for 10k or never see me again. He was buying and selling babies on the Canadian Black Market. When she rejected his offer he changed the appointment time and because she didn’t drive; she couldn’t get there. She never saw me again. That was her side of the story.
For all those years I lived with the hate, resentment, fear of abandonment, forgiveness and many others based upon an incorrect perception! I made life decisions based upon all those things not knowing that they were not only incorrect; but were killing me. How about you? What do you think is behind the door of forgiveness that you have yet to open?
Once I listened to all of what my mother had to share; my life changed. I no longer had the resentment and hatred with deep-seeded unforgiveness breeding in me. My heart was changed. I no longer saw my mother as the fat, stupid degenerate that I always believed she was. (Just saying) No. Not any longer. I saw her as God sees her. I saw her as a woman who lost her child; a woman who suffered much. And a woman who against all odds chose life.
Forgiveness forever changed me. It brought me closer to Christ and it will too. It brought healing to every ounce of my being; including a change in my eye color and voice. It brought a change in perception. It brought humbling in ways unimaginable and it will for you too.
There is someone in your life right now waiting for his or her chance to share the truth with you. There is someone who is waiting to see you be free from what you have harbored deep within to this point. Are you ready to receive? Are you ready to forgive? I pray that you are as you are too valuable to waste away in the land of unforgiveness. I pray that you are ready to see with the 20/20 vision that God has been waiting for you to receive!
Unforgiveness is a sin. In the purest of forms it is a sin against God. And sin kills. Unforgiveness as a result too kills because it is sin although in its process damages you along the way. The destruction to your soul and your body are what most don’t take into consideration. This would make sense since unforgiveness is in the way; blocking the very revelation. So how does unforgiveness truly damage you?
Unforgiveness reaches you at the core of who you are; your soul and spirit. It operates internally like a virus scan program; monitoring every thought, every action; every breath. It ensures that operation to the full are consistent with keeping you miserable; keeping you dying. Your soul which is compromised of your mind, will and emotions is what progresses you through life. When living in unforgiveness the pain resides. It breeds bitterness which is poison that rots the bones. It grows into anger, resentment and the myriad of almost 40 symptoms of unforgiveness. None of which are healthy to the soul. Unforgiveness is the silent torment to the soul that keeps people dying in silence. None of the symptoms allow for any true growth in Christ. How seriously could you expect to grow closer to Christ while being separated from Him by the choice to be disobedience through unforgiveness? One cannot grow to the other. It is only until unforgiveness is removed and replaced with His Truth that freedom and growth in Christ to the full can begin. Until that time of choice begins; it is a slow damaging process to death. When the soul is replenished; life is renewed. This is why forgiveness is a process; a renewing process. Acts 3:19 is very clear: ‘Repent, and then seek forgiveness, so that times of refreshing may come.’ (NIV) There is no refreshing until the choice to repent is first. The soul will not be cleansed nor life changed for the better of His Kingdom.
In the physical body unforgiveness spreads. Anything that occurs in the spiritual aspect manifests itself in the physical. The same is true with forgiveness and unforgiveness alike. When a person lives in forgiveness there is peace; just as much so as when living in unforgiveness there is no peace. When there is no peace the body feels it. When there is stress, anger or any other negative emotion it is felt. Dr. Caroline Leaf has examined the brain related to renewing the mind Biblically and in her research has found that as people change their thoughts then it reacts in the body. When a person is bitter it rots the bones. Unforgiveness has also been known to have such additional physical symptoms of arthritis, hypertension and many others. The human body was not created to withstand the rigors of hate and evil; and sin against God. The torment caused to the body has people dying at a faster rate than necessary. I encourage you today to stop damaging your body and forgive so that you can live; and live the life you were created to live.
It is written best in 3 John 1:2 where it reads the message clear: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (NIV) How can you have good health and all well in your soul when living against God? You cannot be for Him and against Him at the same time. It would like going against Israel and expecting God to like it! God’s Word is clear that you are to enjoy good health and that ‘all’ may go well with you; not just some. You can get all simply by forgiving. You really can! There is peace in forgiveness to be in your soul and body. It is there waiting so you don’t have to any longer do damage to yourself. It is simply up to you to recognize that you are worth it, God commands it; and that you can do it.
Forgiveness takes time. There is time involved. The question most ask is how long does forgiveness take? It is a question for the ages that one never seems to grasp. But again; how long does it take? Let’s face it that is what people want to know right?
And so it goes there is no specific answer. Forgiveness is a process and as with any process it takes time. There is no way around it. There are some things; however, that must be taken into consider when it comes to the time factor of forgiveness.
1. Every person is different. We all are different. None are the same. How every person progresses through life in his or her own way and based upon life experiences too is different. To determine the timeline of forgiveness for each person makes no sense because it really is not relevant. What is relevant to recognize is that the process is underway. Comparing any person and his or her ability to forgive and in a quicker manner serves no purpose and more often than not serves rather as a hindrance because again; each person is different.
2. Every situation is different. No two situations are the same. They may be similar; but not the same. There is no way for them to be because the people involved are not the same, the interpretation of the situation is different; and understanding that applying ways of old to new situations can be more of a hindrance because the applications may not apply. One situation may one of infidelity while another may be wrongful death; and still even betrayal in friendship. No two situations are the same therefore handling them in an exact manner would not be sufficient.
3. Every person’s relationship with Christ is different. When it comes to forgiveness in Christ; where a person is in relationship to and with Him is different. Only God knows the motives of man’s heart. It is written in Jeremiah 17:10: “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” To determine the timeline of forgiveness truly is not the main focus because God knows not only the situation; but also the heart of the person who needs to forgive.
The bottom line is that forgiveness is a process. It is one of healing and deliverance. It is one that will relinquish much pain and heartache. The process of it is one that takes as long as it takes for each person. Falling into the trap of believing that one must be finished forgiving in this time or that; is dangerous. It creates a level of comparison that need not be. It builds a level of bondage that need not be. And when forgiving and living in it; it is always a process and there is no timeline to live in it. It’s something to progress through for the rest of the days of your life.