Recently, I was thinking about forgiveness and have come to understand several important things surrounding this issue. First, forgiveness starts within. It starts with individuals making the choice to be free from the bondage that can accompany unforgiveness. We can triumph by recognizing there are very real components to forgiveness and forgiving. They go hand in hand and each is enhanced by the other. In order to appreciated the gift of forgiveness one needs to forgive. In order to understand forgiving others from the heart we would have to at one time stand in desperate need of forgiveness ourselves. It humbles us so that we can let go of our past no matter how messy it was.
When we can encompass this kind of freedom, we face our reality and accept the consequences of our actions. It’s not bad to make a mistake. However, it’s bad to cover it up, stick our head in the sand and hope it will go away. Bad decisions breed experience, setting the stage for a testimony of how god brought us out of an uncomfortable situation. God loves when we are accountable because it cancels out reproach. Condemnation creates an atmosphere of low self-worth, fear and guilt. God sees the aftermath of our actions before we take them but the good news is this: HE STILL LOVES US AND WANTS US TO BE FREE! I truly thank God for grace.
After we learn to acknowledge, accept and extend forgiveness we need to make restitution whenever we can. If possible we should desire to restore and make peace if we have knowingly hurt another person (Hebrews 12:4). We sometimes have to confess out loud that we’re sorry but we missed the mark. We need to actually say the humbling word “I’m sorry for hurting you”. We all deserve to have someone say that to us and return the sentiment as well. It validates us in our pain and gives us the tool of healing in order to truly move on. Lastly, we need to believe there is a place of peace, love and wholeness in God. When we doubt that God will forgive us it’s an indicator that we don’t completely trust Him. God will not violate our will and force us to trust Him. We have to yield our pride to God and rest in His love and forgiveness.
The valley of forgiveness can be a catalyst to initiate lasting change that heals. corrects and impacts those around us. We can walk in righteousness and be righteous even in the flesh. This can be done by putting on the righteousness of Christ (Romans 3:22) in love. With that said,let the healing begin.
Denise J. Williams is the founder of Broken Vessel Outreach Ministries International http://www.thebrokenvessel.com. Her first book “The Healing of A Broken Vessel” can be found on http://www.publishamerica.com. She is currently completing her second literary effort entitled “The Chambers of the Heart”. She and her husband reside in Jacksonville, FL