Forgiveness! Powerful word in itself, but even more powerful when we apply it to our hurt feelings and emotions. It becomes a healing ointment that soothes the sting of someone’s hot, burning, blistering words. It also can be a disinfectant that when applied to the deep, cutting wounds of our emotions by someone’s actions or words, can cleanse and remove all the impurities and germs that when left unattended will breed infection, poison, loss and eventually death. It doesn’t matter whether their actions or words were done with evil intent, meaning to inflict pain and cause harm or by total disregard of any human decency, the pain we feel and experience is the same and very real. The pain can be debilitating and we may be fearful and untrusting of others because of it. This is no way to live. This is not what God has in store for us. He desires for us to be better, made whole.
No matter who the one is responsible for our pain, a stranger, a friend, a family member, a spouse, it doesn’t matter; when we choose to forgive them, we are doing it for ourselves. It is not that we are condoning their bad, hurtful, harmful behaviour by forgiving them. No, the other person may not deserve our forgiveness, but forgiving them sets us free from the pain that connects us to that person. Holding onto unforgiveness ties us to that person with an emotional chain. We are being held hostage to them in a very real way.
However, when we forgive, we are free to walk away from the situation and person that has been our captor and live a life that is much healthier, free of the pain and toxins that person has inflicted upon us. By forgiving, we may never see that person again, which may be for the best. They may never know or hear that we forgive them, we may never verbally tell them, that is OK too. It doesn’t matter, forgiveness is for us, not for them. And then possibly by forgiving, we may open up a door to bring change and salvation to the perpetrator. We may be the bridge that leads them back to God and restore a broken relationship and make it better than before. No matter what we choose to do, stay or walk away, by forgiving the one that injured us, healing comes to us all the same, we are made whole by choosing to forgive. Living a life of forgiveness is liberating, it is freeing and exhilarating and possible.
The life lived with the burden of unforgiveness is heavy, stifling and smothering. Buried deep within our hearts, unforgiveness spreads and gives way to bitterness, jealousy, resentment, regrets, depression, anger, hatred and then there is evidence that physically our bodies will suffer, as well as our professional and other personal relationships. Unforgiveness chokes the life out of us. On the contrary, when we forgive, we set ourselves free from oppression, negative emotions, poison and the stress caused by holding and harboring a grudge. Forgiveness gives way to healing, peace, love, joy, contentment, feeling of well-being, clarity of mind, breathing space, good relationships, healthier bodies and on and on the benefits go.
We need to realize we have no control over other people and how they talk or live their life. We cannot control them, but we do have control of how we respond to them and how much room is given them to interact in our lives from this moment forward. We determine what is tolerable and what is not, we set healthy boundaries to protect ourselves. We do have control over how we respond when they do hurt us and the first thing we need to do is stepping away (getting out of harm’s way), next we process the damage (doctoring and cleansing our wounds) however long is needed. Then we need to progress into healing by choosing to forgive. Forgiveness is not a feeling, we may say, “I do not feel forgiveness!”, that is OK, it is a choice we make in our hearts to do. It is “always” the best, next step for us. By forgiving, we are removing any obstacle and barrier from our lives that will hinder us from progressing and moving forward.
Forgiveness will create a world of unlimited possibilities for us, enabling us to heal from the wound, rise above the situation and move on to our greatest potential. Forgiving is our refusing to allow the wrong that was done to us to have any power or control over us any longer, we are choosing to live in freedom. Forgiveness empowers us to walk in a knowing that as we are forgiven by Father God, we have also extended forgiveness. This choice will cause us to be made healthier spiritually and physically and emotionally. We will become stronger and be all that we were predestined to be through Christ Jesus who is our strength. May we soar high above the sufferings and pain meant to destry us and rise to new heights we never imagined possible. All things are possible, if we only believe. Never stop believing!