Many people have ideas about forgiveness, what it is, why they should forgive and a bunch of other things related. Below are 10 myths of forgiveness that keep people in bondage; not living their full lives in Christ.
1- Forgiveness is easy. Lie! Forgiveness is not easy; not at all. Each situation and person in each situation are different. The one thing though is that once you understand forgiveness, the process of forgiveness and allow Christ to to be in the center of it it won’t be as hard as it is trying to do it alone- which by the way you can’t to the full.
2- Forgiveness is something I can’t do it. That’s a lie! Now it’s also correct because whether you think you can or can’t you are right. So the question is: what are you going to choose to do? Believe the lie or move the mountain of the lie? The Bible tells us in Philippians that “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV) And guess what? That means forgive!
3- Forgiveness isn’t a big deal because God doesn’t care. Lie! God absolutely cares and if you claim you are a Christian and not forgiving; then God won’t forgive you. Now think about this: how do you think God feels knowing His son died for your freedom and then by choosing to not forgive you are turing your back on Him? God cares and more than you know; why else would He create you ‘and’ have a plan for your life- to give you hope and a future?!
4- Forgiveness means that that everything will be restored and back to normal. Lie! Nothing goes back to the way it was because it can’t. You are not who you were before you forgave so expecting to go back to what once was when it is no longer is like putting new wine in old wineskines; not going to happen.
5- Forgiveness is letting someone off the hook for what they’ve done. Lie again! Forgiveness is being right with God and no longer letting others and what they have done to you control you. You are the one who gets set free when you forgive!
6- Forgiveness is reconciliation with others. Lie. Many people believe that forgiveness is automatic reconciliation and that simply is not true. Forgiveness is a change in someone and whomever else is involved in whatever took place. There may be reconciliation although more often than not the people go their separate ways and are better for it because forgiveness took place. Freedom triumphed! When I forgave my adoptive mother for the years of abuse I endured by her as a child we were never reconciled. Now when I forgave my biological mother for abandoning me we were. If you expect to be reconciled just because you forgive you are setting yourself up. Forgive to forgive without other motive or agenda; than being right with the Lord.
7-Forgiveness is a one time event. Ha. Lie! Remember Peter asking Jesus how many times he needed to forgive. Ever wondered why he even thought to ask that? That one question is clear that he knew it was more than one time and yes; the same for you. It is not only an event but a process too; and sometimes daily. Living life anywhere with people will require forgiveness and let’s be honest; sometimes just dealing with yourself will require it more.
8- Forgiveness requires them to apologize to me for what they’ve done. Lie. And good luck with that! When people do not believe they have done wrong they will not apologize; why would they? How often do you apologize when you are right? Therefore if your forgiveness is based upon what you think and expect others to do then you are missing it entirely. Forgiveness is not about others it’s about you. When you make your decisions on the pretext of others you are simply being controlled and living in the bondage of it. What you find may happen is that when you forgive or after you forgive; they apologize. And all you did was forgive.
9- Forgiveness is forgetting. Huge lie! I love it when people say forgive and forget because it’s not possible! Why? Well; let’s see: if you forgot where is your testimony in Christ? Seriously; if I forgot after I forgave my biological mother there would be nothing because um well; I forgot. So stop trying to forget and just recognize this: when you forgive your emotional attachment to what happened is released. So you remember but aren’t emotionally charged and experiencing angst about it. It just becomes another event in your life like eating Cheerios yesterday for breakfast.
10- Forgiveness won’t change anything. Lie. Forgiveness changes everything; beginning with who you are. It changes your relationship with Christ, your heart, your thinking; your future. It changes your health, your decisions; and habits. It changes your relationships, your perception of others and their perception of you. It changes families and it changes nations. Forgiveness changes every single aspect. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.
These are just 10 myths of forgiveness. There are more although rest assured these are the ones that befuddle people most often. Remember that you can forgive and you are worth it. Why else would He die on that cross saying ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do?’
For more about forgiveness and freedom 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