For a person to be “whole,” we must search out the things within us that hold us back. Unless we’re balanced (whole) we can’t possibly have anything substantial to offer anyone in our lives. And we can absolutely destroy the most valuable relationship(s) in our lives.
Two days ago, God hit me between the eyes with a sermon on YouTube (See link below). I wasn’t looking for it, but I landed on it. That was no coincidence. I’ve had much to learn in a short time. “Thank you, Heavenly Father, for teaching me, once again, what it is I must know, so that I become better for you and for those I love.”
As I said in my last blog, “Unless a person commits (and submits) to receiving an education, they can sit in a classroom forever, and learn nothing.” My prayer for you, dear reader, is that you apply what is written here to yourself, and commit to a new beginning.
We're taught as small children that, if little Johnny hurts you, he must apologize. Once he does, you can forgive him. It’s been embedded in our minds that this is the order of action concerning the hurt in our lives. That’s conditional forgiveness; you apologize and then I forgive you. It’s not true forgiveness.
Conditional forgiveness is not how God forgives. He sent His son to die for the forgiveness of our sins long before any of us were on this earth. We didn’t ask for the God of Heaven to do this. He just did. He knew we would falter and he forgave us anyway.
In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus was teaching to a large crowd. Because they couldn’t get near Jesus, four men removed the roof, and lowered their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing. The paralyzed man asked nothing before Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Everyone saw the obvious physical healing the man required, but Jesus saw his more immediate need; forgiveness. The physical healing came afterward.
When we hold back forgiving a loved one, we become physically ill. The thoughts and emotions we hold inside fester. We don’t eat or sleep properly, and our immune system suffers. We’re made in God’s image and He’s not designed that way. That’s why the human body can’t take it either. Think about what it is that you may not be TRULY forgiving someone for, and soulfully, willfully, forgive them. Forgiveness is what releases you. It puts you on the path to healing and wholeness.
Forgiveness is an act of love. To be truly whole, our minds, will, and emotions must be one. Forgiveness is not an emotion. It's not something we usually feel like doing. It’s a decision. To love someone every day, one must decide to love them. Once the decision to truly forgive is made, we have the freedom, and confidence, to love because our Heavenly Father allows us to forgive that person despite anything they may, or may not, do.
To forgive we must resist revenge. Forgiveness says, “I forgo the right to hurt you because you’ve hurt me.” Sometimes we don’t see our behavior as revenge, and we surely wouldn’t label our actions as such. But, if anything we do in response to hurt, causes the other person pain, then we have indeed initiated revenge.
Wiping the slate clean is the hardest part because the mind remembers hurt. We must make the decision to dismiss the memory whenever it rears its ugly head. There are many verses in the Bible where we are reminded that God forgives us and “remembers it no more” (i.e., Hebrews 8:12). If we say we’ve forgiven someone, and we allow the hurt to come to mind long enough to create emotions, we are condemning an innocent person.
In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus was asked how many times we should forgive. Seven times? “Seventy times seven,” was the answer before Jesus offered a parable about forgiveness. Verse 35 of this scripture warns us that God doesn’t take unforgiveness lightly.
Forgiveness is not for the other person. It’s for YOU. Oh, of course, if someone is remorseful of their hurting actions, they will be given great comfort with the knowledge that they are truly forgiven by you. They can be hopeful that both can move forward in your relationship anew. For some of your forgiveness self-healing, you may have to go way back in your life to repair your wounded heart, and subsequently your life from here on out. Think about the hurts that you never truly forgave in the way God has taught us. Think of the unforgiving behavior, caused by the ill teachings of our youth, that may have set a pattern for your behavior that must now be identified and modified.
I’m so happy that God offered this education to me. I’ve been able to see where true forgiveness has been a core stumbling block for me. With proper application, my mind, will, and emotions are on track to being whole and balanced. This was for me. I wouldn’t be human if didn’t pray that others in my life will also incorporate this lesson so that we can move forward in unity. No matter what they decide, I must release myself even if they choose not to do so for themselves. It is only with offering my own forgiveness, and wiping my mind’s slate clean, that I can become a spiritually balanced Usable Vessel.
PS: To everyone who has ever touched my life: If I ever so much as thought that you have hurt me in any way, I want you to know that you are truly, with all of my heart and soul, forgiven. ~ Judi