In our lives we learn an old saying, I know I did before I came to know God just even a little bit, “You can always forgive, but can you ever forget.” I was brought up with that saying. Throughout my life, I tried so hard to forgive until it tore me apart, then as I came to know God, I first learned how to forgive myself, and that was extremely hard, then to forgive others in my life even though I have not seen some of them for some time now, in the eyes of God I have forgiven them and in my own eyes I forgave them. Forgiveness has to be a two way street as we move through our day to day lives. As we extend the hand of forgiveness to some-one, also we need to accept forgiveness.
When we discover forgiveness can eat us up and make our lives eternally bitter as I did, I did not know where to turn. My life had left me so empty and eaten away from the inside out. Not knowing at the time what bitterness can do to the human spirit, I just thought it was all part of depression, in a way it is. I was so unforgiving for the way my life had turned out; I became emotionally sick and experienced physical illnesses. Pent up anger for many years and even now when I cannot avoid a situation that cause’s stress on our bodies and our anxiety levels go sky high and other powerful enzymes attack the body. Just over 12 months ago I had a powerful anxiety attack which led me to a hospital stay, scared out of my mind as I thought I was having a heart attack. The stresses of modern day life we carry with us, sometimes refuses us permission to give or receive forgiveness affecting our lives, hearts, minds, and bodies. My life has caught up with my body and I do know there are people out there many worse off than me. Anger and depression go hand in hand with many addictions A friend, many since becoming a Christian have constantly reminded me emotional pain will not leave your body until you are ready and willing to forgive..
Until I was able to resolve my anger issues, I could not move forward in my life, I felt as though I was locked in the past, frozen to the moment I walked away from my home. Fear of the unknown, fear of life in another world, not knowing where to start, building a new life. Fear of further hurt prevented me from releasing my anger. This stopped me from making new relationships for some time. During my life I was literally cut of from God I wondered where God was, as I started searching for answers. During that time depression was beginning to grab hold of me. When I began coming to terms and accepting the fact I had depression my whole life was passing before my eyes, I had disappeared before my very eyes in a world of my own failures, I would start something but could not finish it. My life was failing , and I could not see it. So had any form of spiritual life, I had lost all belief in myself.
Learning the true meaning of forgiveness for me was a big step in the right direction. To define forgiveness we need to dig deep no matter what, into our subconscious, you need to release feeling of resentment, vengeance, toward all people in your life, people who have harmed you, no-matter what has happened, or even whether you feel they deserve your forgiveness, The need to do this is important so that we can receive forgiveness and acknowledging our need for forgiveness. I have learned that as a Christian, forgiveness is so important and essential to our walk in faith.
We face many obstacles during a growing period of our lives, I know I have and sometimes old fears come back. Fear of loss has been important to me as lately I’ve lost a bit of independence, I have been angry at myself for getting sick, leaving me with the attitude that I must forgive myself so that even though I’ve lost a little independence lately I can keep on living. For a long time I had been unable to let go of the past, (Well it had been my life) I had burnt up so much energy holding onto the memories of the past. So much anger and rage had built up inside of me. I had kept fuelling and moving about my everyday life .Not knowing if I was descending further into despair with no real purpose for the rest of my life.
For me it is my choice not to form another relationship, it was so I would never get hurt again. But now as I am settled it is because I have found a better way. I did not really want to risk the chance of falling into a relationship that resembled my life I had left behind. Looking a little further into forgiveness, we can see it as an act of obedience; a clever person will also use it as a tool of manipulation. A very clever way of turning situations around to benefit the offender, without you recognising what is going on. People do get hurt and we unfortunately cannot stop that happening, we can in some ways put ourselves on guard against repeated injury to our feelings. We do this by removing ourselves from the situation or becoming more aware of what is going on around you. This way we can limit any hurtful behaviour
As the years rolled by, so many flaws in my life were opening up, I was beginning to recognise the fact but was blinded to the fact that this was happening.. Today I can forgive myself for not acknowledging the fact, I kept hoping life would change, but it never happened and I continued.
From day to day refusing to forgive keeps others in our debt, forgiving sometimes seems like an act of surrender, to those who have done it know it is an act that requires enormous strength. Some offer gifts falsely as an act of forgiveness, even favours.
For many years you can hold different offenses against another person in your life. We sometimes do this unwittingly creating a good guy or bad guy image throughout life. At times we all have done it, help people captive in our thoughts judging them without knowing the real set of circumstances. This is pride in its fullest actions and when pride gets in our way it is an unwinnable situation. Pride being proud of who I am almost got in my way until I learned there is another way. God’s way.
Incorrect ideas are some of the greatest obstacles on the way to forgiveness and sometimes it is not easy. As we forgive, we are not saying what happened is okay, but we are transferring the responsibility of what has happened to another. It’s like paying a debt before the due date. If you don’t pay it on time you have to accept the responsibility. We do not forget what happened; it is something that just does not happen. How do we erase something that has happened to us? I tried many times
It just does not happen. Can we learn from our experiences? Yes we can, but do not walk back into the same experience we left behind. What we can do is work through the extreme raw emotions associated with the events of life; the raw emotions will eventually fade away.
Trust is earned when trust is taken away, can you ever forgive? Yes you can it takes a long time but you can forgive. But one thing you do not blindly trust someone who has hurt you a second time, it is very naïve and irresponsible. We can forgive people from the wrong they have done, without extending them an open invitation to do it again.
The art of forgiveness is a necessary step towards reconciling with life happenings.in some cases it can be a little dangerous to force reconciliation when the other party is unrepentant or unwilling to change.
I will not say it is easy, forgiving it is extremely difficult; sometimes it verges on the impossible when there are ongoing offenses.
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,