The Freedom of Forgiveness


I apologize in advance for the “preachiness” of this post. But it contains things that a lot of people, including myself, need to hear often.

I have been trying to figure out what “forgiveness” means my whole life. It has not been an easy task, to say the least. Does forgiveness mean I just excuse people for everything and never hold anyone accountable? Does it mean I have to be a doormat and just let people walk all over me? Does it mean I forget it ever happened and trust that person never to do it again (even if they never apologized)? If a person NEVER apologizes or shows remorse, do I still have to forgive them?

These questions are so hard to answer. What is forgiveness, anyway? And is it really that important? Holding a grudge is a lot easier, and so is seeking revenge (plus seeking revenge can be pretty darn fun sometimes…).

The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines forgiveness this way–

Definition of FORGIVE

transitive verb
1
a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b : to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2
: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon <forgive one’s enemies>
So basically, according to good old Merriam and Webster, forgiveness is composed of two things: A) letting go of resentment, and B) releasing them from what they “owe” you.
First of all, it’s important to note that this is what Jesus accomplished for us. He made it possible for God to forgive us of our sin debt against Him. We have disobeyed His laws in innumerable ways and our debt to Him is more than anyone, except Jesus Christ, could bear. HOWEVER, Jesus said that if we hold things against human beings, God will continue to hold our sins against us.

The hard thing is when someone has deeply, deeply wronged you in a way that scars you for life, and you feel like you did nothing to deserve it. You feel like you have never and WILL never do something that terrible and therefore feel a “right” to hold it against them. I have felt that way for a very long time, even though I know it’s wrong. It’s something that has to be worked through a day at a time and every individual handles it differently. If you’re going through this right now, I understand completely.

But the truth is, that mentality grows out of one thing and one thing only: PRIDE.

It is an entitled and arrogant point of view and one that I am extremely guilty of… and ashamed of. Who am I to act like another human being owes me something when I owed SO much to God that He had to send His own Son to die for me?? Until I let go of this point of view, there is no way my relationship with God can be anything but strained. How disgusting and repulsive pride is. It makes the regenerated part of me want to throw up.

So right now, I’m working on purifying my relationships and my feelings toward people. It’s going to be a long and agonizing process, but I can already feel God at work in my life and in my relationships with people who have hurt me. I’ve hurt other people too, so I’m trying to repair those relationships as well.

What I have discovered about forgiveness and letting go of your pride is, it’s so FREEING. It’s like a huge weight lifting off of your life and once you’ve forgiven someone, even though you know the offense happened, it doesn’t MATTER so much anymore. That’s in the past, and you’re willing to move on to a debt-free future. That doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself straight into somebody’s arms who you know isn’t trustworthy, though. Be cautious and discerning and avoid stupid mistakes.

Forgiveness is going to be a life-long struggle, especially if you come from a broken home. One song I love is “7 times 70” by Chris August (here’s the youtube link in case you haven’t heard it– http://youtu.be/n5-Q1zAhqpA ). It fits my life SO perfectly I almost thought it was written for me. Forgiveness really does heal, and it really does make a way to overcome the pain of a troubled past. Praise the Lord for His overwhelming grace and forgiveness toward us!!

Also PTL it’s FRIDAY!!!! Woooot! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend, lovelies!

~N.L.

P. S. ~ For my friends who believe against contemporary music or just can’t/don’t want to watch the youtube video, please at least read this testimony from Chris August and the lyrics of this wonderful song. It is truly powerful.

http://www.chrisaugustmusic.com/songs/7×70

P. P. S ~ Troll comments will be automatically trashed.

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