1 John 1:9
"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness."
We often hear the significance of forgiving others and though it may be a struggle eventually we find it is in our best interest to do so. Those unintentional offenses that cause irritation, ego bruising, even loss are dismissed as we understand and comprehend the intent was not necessarily malicious but more so out of pure ignorance. Jesus exercised this function of forgiveness on the cross. In response to the lack and immaturity of the people in his own suffering, discomfort, and distress he found the strength to outwardly petition the Lord to forgive the jeering hackling crowds. And though we are not dying a first-hand sacrificial death for the whole of humanity we are most certainly commanded to sacrifice every fleshly response and forgive as we are forgiven.
Forgiving those who use, abuse, and take advantage without regard for how their actions adversely affect others can increase the struggle to forgive. It seems almost justifiable to hold the memory and feelings associated with the offense especially if the culprit is someone in our inner circle or an authority over us. When the offender is fully aware of the anguish, hurt, and loss they have caused yet refuse to take accountability it can seem almost like betrayal to ones self to forgive. In these instances we have to put our relationship with God above real and legitimate emotions and allow our hearts to be overcome with God's compassion, choose to exercise the commandment to forgive, and stand solid on that decision.
However the most overlooked person that we often fail to consider forgiving resides with us the duration of this life! We cannot leave this person! We cannot forget this person! We cannot escape this person! This person is seemingly the most difficult to forgive! This person looks us in the mirror daily as this person is us!
The Word of God stresses the position an unforgiving heart puts us in and as believers are we truly willing to risk eternity without God binding ourselves to unforgiveness? We should apply that same pressure and concept when considering forgiving the woman in the mirror. We can accomplish this stance by separating the soul, that is the life God put into the dust to bring about animation, from the flesh, the actual dust! Getting in the mirror and recalling that it is the soul that cries out to the Lord from the deep and the flesh that is to yield under the authority of the Lord will help us separate and activate the forgiving process as it relates to ourselves. Are the desires of the flesh worth it? Are the wants of a deceived heart worth it? Are the thoughts of an adverse mind worth it? Surely not!! This is the position unforgiveness puts our entire beings in... That is a state of deception and adversities!
Even though forgiveness does not excuse any of us from the consequences of the decisions made, as we reap what we sow, it does free us from the bind of those decisions. Forgiveness allows us to see with renewed focus that God has already had the final say, not our condemnation, and his Word is forgiveness! Feel free to cross reference the Cross for reassurance! The Word became flesh in the form of Jesus for the sake of taking on our sins, even our sin against self, and for total forgiveness we simply have to come into agreement with that Word!
Some of the decisions we make out of sorts can have life altering ramifications and make us feel like a liability. It can be very discouraging when the consequences touch areas in life that were never even a consideration. In the aftermath we can see with complete clarity how one decision had the ability to create a domino effect and seemingly demote and limit our movement and mobility. Let us be encouraged nonetheless in the fact that nothing our decisions got us into is beyond the correction of a loving and concerned Father.
Taking responsibility does not mean condemn oneself! Exercising accountability does not equal obsessing over where we went wrong! When perceptions misrepresent reality it can lead into self absorption and create a stronghold of unforgiveness. The would of, could of, should of's are irrelevant in the backdrop of what actually transpired.
There is nothing we can do to change the past however we can start in our present awareness to heal from our past misconceptions, currently forgive ourselves, and reap future blessings by sowing prosperous seeds!! When pressure arises and temptation attempts to steal the gift of repentance remember a resisted enemy flees from the face of truth every time.
Redirection and reconstruction come with ease the more we study and comprehend the nature of a forgiving God. Whenever and wherever unforgiveness is exposed in our lives take it as an opportunity to relinquish control to, yield before, and obey the Lord we say we love! Extend yourself a little grace as immaturity is a given, knowing better and doing better are inevitable, and transformation is evident each time we forgive them, him, her, and the mirror!
Guest Blogger, Monique Lovett.
Pastor Teresa actively travels throughout the country imparting the Word of God in a candid and refreshing way. Teresa is the host and creator of SisterFriends Cups and Conversations, an Internet Talk Show providing a platform for women to engage. www.newcreationfamilychurch.com to learn more.