Let me first say forgiving is not forgetting what has occurred, nor is it giving the person a pass for what they did. I was talking to one of my clients and she said “I feel like he is winning if I forgive him” a couple days later another one of my clients said “I don’t know about all this forgiveness, I challenge that, I’m not there yet”Can you relate to either one of these statements? I completely understood what they both were saying. Having gone through a painful divorce and surviving domestic violence I know what it feels like to question forgiving someone. I think it’s somewhat common for the human psyche to believe “they don’t deserve my forgiveness for what they’ve done”
Forgive For What? Forgiveness opens your heart to love again with no restrictions towards the next person that is blessed enough to find you. Learning to forgive allows the hurt and pain to subside. Notice I said “Learning” because forgiving is a process and we learn each time we are challenged to forgive. Remember trust was built over time; therefore it takes time to recover after it has been broken. Forgiving helps let go of negative emotions. As long as you harbor feelings of disappointment, regret and failure they will continue to keep you stuck. Forgiveness will start a healing process within you.
Extending forgiveness shows strength not weakness. I think one of the first things to consider isallowing yourself GRACE to forgive someone that caused you harm. Don't feel like you need to force or hurry this process. It can be a struggle to find the grace to forgive someone that put you through pain especially when emotions are high and trust has been broken. We look for who is the blame when in reality nobody is perfect. On the flip side there will come a time we will need forgiveness as well.
Forgive For What? Matthew chapter 6 lets us know that God will forgive our trespasses the same waywe forgive those that have trespassed against us. Pause for a moment and think about that; if we don’t forgive them, we are at risk of not being forgiven. That’s a chance I personally don’t want to encounter. This does not mean they are getting away with what they did; it is allowing you to release an emotion that is keeping you tied to that person.
I believe that some people are sick due to un-forgiveness. Here are three things that may occur with un-forgiveness resentment, bitterness and eventually hate. It is important to begin to think about taking steps to forgive those that have hurt you and learn to forgive yourself. Forgiveness is not necessarily for the other person, it is for you to be set free from emotional baggage and trauma. Often times we blame ourselves for the way others treat us and for staying connected to people that don’t deserve our energy. Well take a step back and "forgive you" for being human and allowing certain things happen. Learn from your mistakes and experiences. There are actually benefits in forgiving. I want to give you some tips to start working through this process so just take one day at a time.
7 TIPS TO MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS FORGIVENESS
1. Remember forgiving is not forgetting what the person has done.
2. Forgiving does not excuse the other person's behavior, nor does it make you look weak.
3. Be mindful of any "Ill will" thoughts or emotions towards the person & consider that un-forgiveness may turn into Resentment, Bitterness and Hate as a Final Factor.
4. Don't feel as though you need to rush the process because timewill help you evolve & leave the hurt you've experienced in the past.
5. Forgiving opens your heart to love and be loved in return. Bonus tip!
6. Ask God to give you the GRACE, COURAGE, and STRENGTH to forgive and to have a forgiving heart.
7. Last but not least when you feel the time is right, speak the persons name out loud by saying “I Forgive ___.”
Forgive For What?
It is without question that Jesus is BIG on FORGIVENESS. As a final thought I began to reflect on the conversation Jesus and Peter had one day. There was a question asked in Matthew chapter 18 verses 21 & 22 by the Apostle Peter.  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.
I can imagine that some of you are already cringing at this statement, not to mention it probably caught Peter totally off guard. Okay let’s calculate what Jesus is really saying. So 70 x 7 = 490. How could it even be possible for someone to offend you that many times? Rather than focusing on how impossible this task seems to be, think about adopting a NEW ATTITUDE towards those that fall short. I believe what Jesus is really saying is that you need to have a Forgiving HEART & be quick to forgive verses letting things simmer and linger. Never let anyone change who you are because of their actions, pray for God to keep a pure heart with in you. [Matthew 5:8]
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