"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 6:9-15
Hello Dear Diamonds! Today God led me to write about the topic of forgiveness.
And by "led me", I do mean He exposed, convicted and spiritually read me to filth.
Isn't He lovely?
I was scrolling on Instagram and came across a "31 Days of Forgiveness" challenge. The scripture I quoted above really stuck out to me. My interpretation of it starts off with one simple view: Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated.
Let me be the first to tell you that I am not perfect. I've offended people, made mistakes, and hurt others from time to time. Like so many others, my record isn't clean. What I do believe, however, is that an expert in life is one who fails forward.
So I know that when I do something wrong, I'm eventually going to want to be forgiven.
I mean, who wants these things to be held against them forever?
Still, forgiveness, on all fronts, is easier said than done.
Plus, I had a question for God:
"How exactly do you forgive someone who isn't sorry or doesn't want/feel the need to be forgiven?"
This question made me reflect on my own infamous grudge holding abilities.
In the past, when someone hurt me I felt justified in treating them the exact same way. I never let any of the offenses against me go.
As a result, ALL of my precious relationships were suffering.
And guess what? I was totally in the mindset of "I ain't sorry".
Especially when it came to men and breakups.
Just the other day my friend mentioned one of my exes and I realized how angry I still was over something that happened YEARS ago.
It literally had no relevance in my current stage of life. It was petty. It was nothing I could do about it. Yet here I was, ENRAGED. "How could he do this to me? How could he think this was ok?"
This is where God stepped in and said: "Well what about what YOU did to HIM?"
That shut me right up.
I've played the victim role for almost all of my life so I wasn't ready for this level of personal accountability. It took an incredible amount of humility and maturity for me to woman up and own that I did just as much damage to this man, if not more.
How dare I hold anything against him when he was more than likely thinking the same things about ME!
In fact, my ex was probably building up as much bitterness and resentment as I was.
All the same, God's retort made me realize...
Forgiveness is a mirror.
If I am going to forgive you, I can't look at what you've done to me without looking at what I've done to you.
Even if I didn't reflect those actions back to you, I probably did that same offense to someone else.
It's so interesting how we can feel like we are the only ones wronged or affected in a situation.
"No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face..." (1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG)
All of mankind's troubles and trials are common. We all share the same sins and difficulties no matter how different we THINK we are.
Forgiveness is defined as the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.
That's........deep. Reading that definitely can challenge your maturity level.
And I would still want it done for me.
When I connected with God and He started showing me things that I needed to change, I was heartbroken and ashamed over my actions. He forgave me. So I could at least try to forgive the other people who knowingly or unknowingly have caused me grief. I'm no different.
But back to that mirror. In my quest to exercise that wonderful ability of mercy, I realized I still hadn't forgiven MYSELF for certain things I've done.
For my ignorance, my selfishness, and being plain ole mean.
The devil is an accuser and all of those terrible memories would surface daily in my mind. Nonetheless, why would I still harp over these things if God already stopped holding them against me?
The Lord showed me that forgiveness is a continuous journey. There will always be new mistakes and transgressions to make peace with.
So I encourage you to drop all of the bitterness and resentment you have towards people and, most importantly, towards yourself. Forgive yourself for the simple, common, human things we can't avoid. Thank the Almighty for showing you how and where you can improve.
And thank God for forgiving you. ESPECIALLY when you knew you didn't deserve it.
Now what kind of mind-boggling love is that?
I don't know about you but I'm here for that.
How do you interpret forgiveness?
With Love, Kay