Forgiving is not easy; there is no doubt. The good news is that it is possible! How do we know? Because God’s Word gives us everything we need in order to forgive. As a result there are some steps that you too can take to live your life in forgiveness.
1- Choose to live in forgiveness. While it may sound overly simple; the choice to forgive is one that most don’t think about. They by default live in ‘unforgiveness’. Living in forgiveness is a lifestyle lived on purpose. I never knew that; nor did I know that by default my unforgiveness was a choice. When you choose forgiveness you are choosing life and following in Deuteronomy where it tells us to choose life so that ‘you and your children’ may live.
2- Believe that with Jesus all things are possible. You can forgive and you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength so it reads in Philippians 4:13. So what this means is that not only can you do it; you have someone with you every step of the way. I didn’t recognize that either until I was faced with going before the Lord and actually dealing with it. It was decades of pain and the past that was bottled up ready to be overcome and with Jesus the way was made; and it will be for you too.
3-Remember you are no different than those who hurt you. This is hard to accept at times; especially when people do the unthinkable. It’s hard to not look at what they have done and hold it against them. It’s hard to not judge or be critical; or resent them. I’m not going to lie about this at all! It doesn’t matter if it is cheating, stealing, lying; murder or anything else. Hurt caused by others still hurts. While those things may not be the things that you have done or would do; if you look carefully at yourself are there things that you too have done that aren’t the nicest representation of who you are? Probably right? Now we all say reflect and think ‘yeah well I haven’t done ‘that’ but so what? It doesn’t change the fact that we are all fall short and the moment you compare what you haven’t done to what someone else has; that is the moment vanity and judgment creep in to your heart. When you forgive you are cleaning your heart toward the Lord and allowing Him to take that burden so you don’t have to carry it.
4- Accept and know it is a process. The process of forgiveness is one that takes as much time as it needs. Many believe that simply moving away from the situation is forgiveness; although that won’t work because you are still are who you are- just live may live by the beach. Others say that time heals wounds which is not true either because if it were; there would not so many people up in age that are angry, bitter, resentful and ugly about what did or didn’t occur or what they didn’t get that they should have in the past. The process of forgiveness is one that takes as much as it requires because each person is different, has different hurts; and has a different relationship with Jesus. If someone is pressuring you to just forgive already; know there is a reason and it probably has more to do with them than you. Just go forward with Jesus and know that it is something you need to do and do it at the pace that is in accordance with your walk with Him.
5- Be Quick to Forgive. Being quick to forgive can literally save your life. We all know things in life come at us and some are not what we want at all. What happens though is if you allow all of those things to stay; they will. And the enemy would love nothing more than for you to be angry, sad, resentful, bitter, unforgiving; ungrateful, self-centered and all the other 35 symptoms of unforgiveness. Every act of not forgiving is really an open doorway for the enemy to reside and continue to wreck your life. Don’t think he won’t! He will and every chance he gets he does so; and it’s even in more sly ways than you can think. Being quick to forgive keeps you on the offense and right with Jesus so that you can live your life in peace while advancing His Kingdom.
Forgiveness is not for the faint at heart. It is for those who want to live their Christian life in obedience and more depth in their relationship with Jesus; and more out of life itself. Forgiveness is and should be the standard of life for Christians as it reveals a level of obedience, love for others; and what is in their hearts. Living in Forgiveness will not only change what you see; but how you see and how you live. And it’s time now to start living in forgiveness.
For more about forgiveness and the full life in Christ watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ weeknights at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork.
To have Julie speak at your church or business visit www.julieblair.com