Forgiveness is one of those words that can get caught in our throats and stay there. It is an action that can be difficult to complete. Many people, including me, hold on to resentment like someone drowning grips a life jacket. I don’t know about you, but I have been that drowning person.
Why do we do this? Why is it, when we are hurt or offended, does resentment build that eventually turns to bitterness and finally resting in unforgiveness? The thorn of unforgiveness jabs in our flesh and begins to fester. Over time, this infection spreads to our heart and creates a certain level of misery within us.
In Three Weeks to Forgiveness available now from eLectio Publishing, I share with you not only why forgiveness was so difficult for me, but also how I was finally able to not only give it, but also receive and accept it.
Maybe you are holding on to hurt someone caused you in your past. Maybe you are struggling to accept God’s forgiveness of something you have done. I don’t know where you are right now, but I can assure of this one thing – God loves you in middle of your mess. He will guide your heart to open up and receive this thing called forgiveness, but in order to fully receive it, we must be open to it. This can be one of the hardest things for us to do. I know. I’ve been there and some days, I need to remind myself of the same thing.
Ephesians 4:31-32 explains the reason we are to forgive others.
“Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
Bitterness. Check. Anger. Check. Wrath. Check. Shouting and slander. Check. I have had all of these reactions when I’ve been hurt, offended, or betrayed. Have you felt that way too? But Paul goes on and explains why God wants us to remove these things from our minds. We have been forgiven. In Christ—by His sacrifice—we are forgiven. Wow. I don’t know about you, but when I really think about this and let my heart soak it up, I am humbled. Christ died on the cross so I—so we—would no longer be separated from God eternally. See, I’ve discovered this; I have made so many mistakes in my life, but God still loves me anyway. He loves me enough to forgive me, if I ask Him. He does this BECAUSE of His radical, reckless, redeeming love for me—and for you, too.
So how can I not forgive others, too? I believe wholeheartedly that God guides us to be more like Him. As we mull around our seemingly ordinary lives, He is working extraordinary things. That is exactly what God did in my life. He took my mess of mistakes I had made, the plethora of patterns I repeated, and turned them into a beautiful, redeeming relationship with Him and others who had hurt me in my past. He healed my broken heart and filled my soul with His love. All I had to do was let go of the bitterness, anger, wrath, shouting, and slander and let God do the rest.
If you are struggling right now to forgive or are holding on to resentments, bitterness, and past hurts, Three Weeks to Forgiveness will take you along my own personal journey to finding forgiveness, giving forgiveness to others, and receiving forgiveness from our loving Father God.
Sign up today to receive the first 2 chapters of Three Weeks to Forgiveness as my gift to you. Make sure and let me know what you would like to receive by checking the appropriate box on the sign up form! When you do, you will also receive full access to the Transforming Normal Resource Center full of valuable resources that point you to Christ and help you on your journey. As another option, you can sign up for my special limited time series entitled, Finding Forgiveness.