Blessings my Beloved,
I pray you and your family are safe following the devastation of Hurricane Irma.My prayers go out to our neighbours in the Caribbean and surrounding areas who were directly impacted by her rampage.
Disasters like these cause us as humans to remember our frailty. It also brings us face to face with the fact that God is ultimately in control, however there are some things that we can choose.Decisions like whether to heed hurricane warnings and flee for our lives, or refuse to listen and perish are entirely up to us.
This brings me to a topic that has been on my heart for sometime now…Forgiveness.
You see Beloved,forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision we make to release feelings of resentment or revenge toward someone who has hurt us, whether we think that one deserves clemency or not.
Can I be totally honest with you though sis? This is something that I struggled with personally for several years!
I really thought that pardon should be granted based on the offender’s indication of remorse, but careful observation of the Word of God would have me know that this is between myself and God,and not necessarily the third person.This is explained in Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT),
So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
Not only that, but our forgiveness from God is dependent on our forgiveness of others! In Luke 11:13,The Lord taught His disciples to pray in this regard:
Forgive us our sins,
as we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
Forgiving someone does not mean downplaying the wrong they have done us or the intensity of the hurt they have caused.In fact,for us to really forgive someone we must fully accept what that person has done before deciding to let it go.
I can tell you though Beloved,as hard as it is to really let go,it is one of the most liberating experiences!
It brings a level of joy and peace of mind that is simple inexplicable.When you reach that point where the person no longer has a hold over you…when you realise they no longer have the power to alter your mood…when you can take an experience that was once too horrible to put into words and make it into life’s greatest lesson….that is the power of forgiveness.
Joseph experienced this,in Genesis 50:19-21.He realised that even though what his brothers did to him was evil,everything worked out for good in the end.God is able to bring forth a good thing out of a very bad situation…that is why He is God!
Beloved,unforgiveness is not something for us to cherish.It is something that destroys us from the inside out…slowly but surely stunting our spiritual growth.
We must allow God to transform our hearts and minds so that we begin to see each other as human beings with limitations…we are all subject to mistakes…we all cause each other hurt or heartbreak at some point.
Think about it my darling,we cause God so much heartbreak and yet we still expect Him to forgive us…so what about our own brothers and sisters?
The Grace of God will have us know that we do not deserve forgiveness more than anyone else.We all sin and come short of His glory,therefore we really have no authority to refuse mercy.
It is not the offender we are destroying but our own selves.We must begin to see people as more than just the offense they committed.
I will leave you to ponder on Romans 12:21 for a moment, the only way we can overcome evil is by responding with good.Fire cannot fight fire,that is why we use water…
My dear sis,we must make a decision.Hold on to the hurt to our own detriment or let it go for our own benefit…I choose the latter… How about you Beloved?
I am your sister,