“Would you like to see the Lord shatter the spiritual prisons in your life, the areas where you feel trapped? Then forgive those who put you there, for surely the walls of your imprisonment are made of your own anger and unforgiveness toward others.” Francis Frangipane
Francis Frangipane hits the nail right on the head. Forgiveness is the lowering of our angry walls, bitterness, and resentment in order to live free. In the moment when we are wronged, the person’s actions have hurt us. Unforgiveness keeps us trapped in that memory of pain, hurt, disappointment, betrayal, and abandonment.
Forgiveness helped me love my husband
When my husband decided to stop coming to church, I was devastated but, actually, more angry with myself. I knew it was coming. Holy Spirit had been prodding me for some time with that gut feeling, hubby was headed this way.
My world came crashing down. Those feelings of abandonment came knocking. I don’t think I wanted to speak to him for a good few days.
How could this be happening to me? Had I done nothing wrong?
Today, I don’t live with this anger or disappointment because of the power of forgiveness. I made a choice to walk this road with God, forgive my husband for not measuring up to my expectations and fairy tale expectations of marriage, and accept my hubby just the way he is, today. (See my post “Married to an Agnostic”)
People have free will
We live in a world full of people who have free will. This free will allows them to make choices. The consequences of these choices regularly filter into our lives leaving an impact. Often it is unjust, unexpected, hurtful, or even harmful. Other times, it’s more positive.
Forgiveness allows us to release ourselves from the hurt, pain, disappointment, and other negative feelings we experience due to the consequences and actions of other people’s choices. Along with forgiveness comes healing, peace, restoration, and security.
(You can read my post on Whose Responsibility is it? Mine or Gods?)
The power of forgiveness is agreeing with Jesus
Forgiveness is the language of heaven. Every time we choose to forgive, we come into agreement with what Jesus did on the cross. We acknowledge the situation and the emotions while agreeing with Jesus as the overall Judge and Defender. We actively choose to see the person who hurt us with God’s eyes. This helps us to release that person into God’s care with a prayer of blessing. We, in turn, are free from the emotional turmoil and continue to live life fully.
The greatest example we have of forgiveness is when Jesus is on the cross watching Roman soldiers barter for his clothing. Jesus’ body is broken beyond our imaginations. He has endured much pain, torture, and agony. Yet, he hangs on that cross with compassion and understanding in his heart. He calls out to God with conviction and asks “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
Forgiveness is not a feeling but an action. It comes from a heart which understands the heart of the Father and his nature. If we were to wait for our feelings to change and become more “forgiving” we could wait a long time. Our feelings are as unpredictable as the ocean waves. They are not anchored in truth. To forgive, we need to assess in our hearts if we are ready and willing to let go of the pain and release the person to God for judgment.
Forgiveness also comes from the conviction and desire to remain connected to the Father’s heart. Unforgiveness works as a barrier in our relationship with God. Think of light and darkness. They can’t be mixed. God (who is light) can’t be mixed with the darkness of offense, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc.Thus, we experience a disconnect between ourselves and God.
The process of forgiveness
It does help to start forgiving small offenses and grudges. As we do this, we are able to experience the power of forgiveness in these areas. Our courage rises with our faith. Before long, we are able to go for our pain giants. We forgive those life changing and hard memories. Holy Spirit remains with us, comforting us and healing us with every whispered prayer.
So how can we go about forgiveness?
- Go to God with your emotions and the situation or memory. Tell him how you feel about the situation. In my earlier example, I went to God about my hubby’s decision to not be with me at church and told God how angry, disappointed and alone I felt.
- Renounce the lie that God is anything like that person you are forgiving. Acknowledge that God would not treat you in that same way. For me (continuing my example), I renounced the lie that God would abandon me, disappoint me, or given me the raw end of the stick.
- Release yourself from the pain and hand the person over to God. I also like to bless the person I am forgiving.
- Ask God what he has for you in exchange for your pain. Or, you can ask God to show you the truth about who He is.
Resources to help you walk in forgiveness
Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links which means that I get a small commission (at no extra charge) when you purchase my recommended products. All products recommended are those I believe wholeheartedly will help you live in the freedom God has for you as well as deepen your relationship with Him.
|Do Yourself a Favor…Forgive: Take Control of Your Life Through Forgiveness
By Joyce Meyer
|Forgiveness: Breaking the Power of the Past|
|How to Forgive Ourselves–Totally: Begin Again by Breaking Free from Past Mistakes
By R.T. Kendall
|Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Expanded Edition: Access to a Life of Miracles
By Bill Johnson
|Total Forgiveness, Revised and Updated
By R.T. Kendall
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