Clearly, none of this is easy. We must understand who we are in Christ to access forgiveness and begin to grasp its power. We must understand our purpose in Christ. We must galvanize our heart, because offenses and sins against us hurt. They can dig in and continue to do harm. Yet, forgiveness on our part is not contingent on our feelings.
Forgiveness allows us to let go of the past and allows us to look forward, just as the scriptures say we should. Holding onto a grudge, holding on to a hurt, holding on to a slight keeps us in the past. It takes us off the purpose the Lord has for us.
Do we still hurt when we forgive? Most likely the answer is yes. So let's begin to see the two processes of hurting/healing and of forgiving, independently at work.
Hurts need time to heal. Why? Because we need to put them into perspective. We need a chance to refocus ourselves on the important things in life. Forgiveness, as a separate process from experiencing the harm done, gives us a powerful tool to turn our mind and heart toward the things that give life.
As we are consumed by the greater things that God has in our lives, the hurts and sore feeling have a chance to run their coarse and heal.
God Is All InMuch like practicing patience or being peaceful, forgiveness needs to be practiced and developed. It's a superpower! It is something that we readily have access to and it's also something we have to activate. Understanding what forgiveness is and why it is our ally is the first step in executing it properly.
When someone does us social, material or physical harm they haven't just offended us. They have stepped in to our world and have done real harm to some degree. The mind of the world requires revenge. The mind of Christ requires forgiveness.
Why is this? It's because everything we are, everything we do and everything we have as a new creation in Christ, is the Lords. We were bought with a steep price. We died to an old dead life and now we are alive to Christ. We are not alive to our offenses. Our purpose in the Lord is much different than it was before He made us a new creation.
The responsibility relies with God to make situations right on our behalf. It's a responsibility He put upon Himself. So He is all in!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. - Romans 8:28 NLT
Jesus Thought Little Of The ShameOur scriptures tell us Jesus despised the shame of the cross. The word despised here means He thought little of it. In light of His love for us, it was a little thing to suffer for such a great reward. That reward is you and me! :-D
So should we begin to think little of the shame we have endured as well? You bet! Leave it in His capable hands.
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. - Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT
Tenacious ForgivenessA lack of forgiveness is a misunderstanding of our relationship with God. If we cannot find forgiveness we have not come to terms with what we have been forgiven. We are not acknowledging the lengths Jesus went to save us from an eternity of damnation.
Remember who you are in Christ. Tenaciously demand of yourself, to be the new person the scriptures tell you, you are. Our relationship with the Lord is deeply affected by our understanding of forgiveness.
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. - 1 Peter 3:9 NLT
This is a superpower and a gift that we must use to its fullest. We must develop our expertise in forgiveness. We are called to it. It is our ally. It is powerful.
Concept >>> “Forgiveness Is In You”
Can one grow in their skill of forgiving?
Indeed. Let's take our focus off of the offender and place it right on the Lord. We know who we are by the scriptures. In the hands of an almighty God we are formed and shaped into His likeness. It's one of forgiveness.
Practice forgiveness. Start with the small things and work your way up to the more challenging griefs.
God paid a high price for you, so don't be enslaved by the world. - 1 Corinthians 7:23 NLT
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