Recently I had the opportunity to grow a little bit more in reference to the meaning of love and forgiveness, BECAUSE there have been several people in my life that have abused me both mentally and physically and it was done while I was a helpless child and a young girl growing up and somewhat continued on into adulthood.
But lately I find that each step I take in getting closer and closer in my relationship with God, his love is permeating and growing so much more in my life, heart and soul. God is truly so amazing!
When I think about all the years of struggle and all the questions I had for God like why did he allow the abuse to happen to me and why is he allowing it to continue on into adulthood. I would not get any clear answers, but God’s love was real, as he would comfort me and speak to my heart and soul through his word.
So I tried so hard to not allow bitterness to grow within my heart for the cowardly acts done by these bullies and so kept a healthy distance from them in order to protect myself and a growing dislike for them within my heart toward them.
I never did lash out and back at them, even though I could have and probably would have if it were not for having God to pray to, lean on and talk to about all the pain brewing within my heart.
I tell you my heart was so broken and I was wounded for a very long, long time. I struggled with trying to forgive and love the ones who hurt me and wanted to continue to harm me, but I just could not bring myself to do it, especially since they were still doing little things to instigate others against me and continued to try to harm me even from a distance.
But I thank God because most times I would go to my secret closet and cry out to God about it all and so I’d work with God on my behalf, gradually getting healing in my soul in little and big ways, by the washing of God’s word.
I’d read healing scriptures, pray and release on it all. So gradually and over time I’d finally come to a place of being in total surrender to God, wanting nothing more than his total will for my life.
I think by God moving us out here in the country, close to nature has allowed me to be blessed enough to sit in the quietness and stillness so that I began to hear that still small voice of God much clearer and in a different way.
So I humbled myself before God as he began to speak to the recesses of my heart through various means and ways and brought me to a place to take the necessary steps to learning forgiveness and love. All the while God has been with me, holding me, loving me, holding my hand.
So finally I made it to the place where I could reach out and let my abusers and offenders all know I forgive them and I love them. And that action alone was the catalyst that has finally set me free!
So all of that pain and hurt stemming from their hurtful and mean spirited actions no longer dwells deep inside of my soul anymore. Finally I found that I could hold conversations with a few of them with no animosity in my heart towards them. All I could say is how amazing it is when you learn how to truly forgive and love from deep within your heart holding nothing back.
But what I found to be so sad and strange is that if you speak to these same individuals today they still feel as if they did nothing wrong. They have hardened their hearts and continue to live a lie and feel no remorse for the wrong they did to me, there seems to be no real repentance on their part. They are continuing with their foolishness and to tell the truth it is I who now feels so sorry for them, because all they are doing is allowing wickedness to continue to rule, grow and fester within their hearts and souls which is to their own demise. Holding onto bitterness, grudges and un-forgiveness in the heart is a no, no to God.
And so just as in the bible when Pharaoh hardened his heart each time Moses came to him with a demand from God (and the bible says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.) The real issue at hand was that Moses was being tested and needed to work on his anger issues. LOL! God was looking for and giving Moses the opportunity to have a correct response (a godly response) not a natural (worldly or his own way) response.
So I believe that the continued negative behavior of these people is yet an opportunity for me to flex my spiritual muscles! LOL! To grow even more in the Lord. This is opportunity for me to allow more fruit in my life and to see exactly what Christ-like character trait God wants to grow in me.
Another truth for me is that it really is for my own benefit and walk with God that I learn and practice forgiveness and love towards my brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, strangers and enemies. And that it needs to be done and checked in me on a regular basis to keep my own soul clear, free and right with God. The bible says we aught to examine ourselves.
I tell you it feels so good when I forgive and love those who have done harm, offended, done mean things and hurt me. It feels better than I ever could imagine it would be.
So no, I do not regret forgiving them and loving them. But I do feel sorry that in spite of my clear efforts to restore a right relationship with them, they have decided to continue on the wrong path, not realizing that karma is not going to be as kind as they think.
It is within my hope and prayers that they will come into the knowledge and love of Christ in their lives one day soon and way before it’s too late.
Love and forgiveness! These two words hold a lot of meaning. These two words sets souls free just like me.
The bible says when you don’t forgive your brother you open your soul up to be tormented by the enemies of your soul. These “tormentors” are physical and mental illnesses, anger, fears, lust, perversion, self rejection, bad habits, doubts, anxieties, lack of love, lack of trust, wrong thoughts, inferiority, no peace, having no spiritual focus and depression.
I have to admit that I have been no angel all of my life, and I am guilty of doing wrong, taking a wrong path and hurting others in the past which was unintentional or done out of my own bleeding hurt and pain filled broken heart.
You know the saying “hurt people, hurt people.”
And so for that I have repented and truly am sorry and so I search my heart, try to go back to my past allowing God to search deep within my heart and bring to my remembrance the people I have hurt or wronged so that I could go back and make amends and seek forgiveness to the best of my ability. It is the right thing to do when you are trying to “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk.”
We all human beings mess up, make mistakes and hurt each other sometimes. So the willingness to have a forgiving heart is important. Forgiveness and love walk hand and hand.
So I have learned that the soul is the seat of the mind, will and emotions and it is really up to each individual to make themselves right with God and man, it’s also important to clear the record of those who have offended, wronged, abused or hurt you.
Yes, it’s hard and scary to do because of pride, arrogance and the sin nature within. But if you really want to surrender your life to God it’s a step by step process that must be undertaken only with God’s help of course. It’s OK to confess when you are wrong. Its a path for the brave and the humble.
So God wants and requires these things. For me it’s the only and best way to live, learning to forgive ones self and others is the best way to get forgiveness and love from a forgiving and loving God.
So for me walking this path is so amazing and it allows God to love others right through me.
We don’t need affirmation from the people who harmed us in order to learn how to forgive them. And even if they choose to never speak to you again in your entire lifetime. It’s ok, because it does not take away from your ability to still forgive them anyway. Because forgiveness is not about them but it’s about your own willingness, spiritual walk and growth. So we can go ahead on and lower our expectations about them.
It’s all about you loving, forgiving and giving to a higher degree.
JOYFUL & FREE, THAT’S ME!
Then the angry king sent the man to the torture chamber until he had paid every last penny due. So shall my heavenly Father do to you if you refuse to truly forgive your brothers.
Matthew 18: 34-35 (TLB)
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:12-15 (NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
(this image is at: http://www.thehiyl.com/2012/02/forgiveness-1.html)
-FORGIVENESS- Anyone can hold a grudge, but it takes a person with character to forgive. When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened was OK, and it doesn’t mean that person should still be welcome in your life. It just means you have made peace with the pain, and are ready to let it go.
(I also found this amazing website below with a few words of encouragement and scripture on forgiveness.)