Monday, June 27, 2011

Seven Days of Devotionals - Forgiveness

My blog has been used for the primary purpose of sharing recipes with my friends.  This week, however, I would like to share my thoughts and have a daily devotional with all of you who read on a regular basis.  I am not a professional in these matters.  My only intent is just to blog about matters of the heart and share my own personal feelings.

Yesterday I spent five hours in the emergency room.  I'm okay and hopefully my doctor will get my medicines straightened out soon.  If you have ever been to an emergency room, I know you will agree with me that being there gives you plenty of time to think while you are waiting. . and waiting. . and waiting.

One subject that came to my mind yesterday was "forgiveness."  Have you ever needed forgiveness and it did not come, or knew you needed to forgive someone but you did not want to?   If you are human and you are reading this post, at some point in your life you have been hurt.  Sometimes deeply.  Your hurt might have come from a friend, a co-worker, or a family member.  Please know that my heart goes out to you because I understand that hurt and grieve with you. 

Forgiveness is a decision.  First, let's look at what forgiveness really means.  To forgive means we release our resentment, release our need for bitterness, and release our need for revenge.  Yes, as humans, sometimes we think of ways to get back, to get even.  We think we want our offender to suffer.  And anger can make us feel powerful.  But that feeling is short lived and in most cases, our unforgiving hearts hurt us more than it hurts our offender.

Sometimes, the first thing we want to do is call a friend - someone we can trust to take our side in the matter, and help justify us to keep open that wound of unforgiveness.  Really, wouldn't a better friend be one who would help us rethink the situation, turn our thoughts into positive actions, and remind us to forgive even when we do not feel like it.  I'm thankful that I have a few friends that fit that category.

Sometimes we need to forgive and move on.  Other times, we need to forgive and reconcile with that person.  While one can forgive on their own, reconcilation involves both parties being willing to forgive and make changes in their behaviour.  Both parties have to reach out and work together to restore the relationship.  How do we do that?  First, we need true forgiveness.  Next we have to let go of our superior attitude remembering that all have sinned, yes that includes ourselves. We do not have to pretend the hurt was not there, we just have to let go of it.  We may have to even acknowledge that we have caused pain.  We have to accept responsbility for our own past actions and be willing to change, grow and improve our future actions.

An unforgiving heart focuses on the past hurt and does not care to move past the anger and bitterness.  A forgiving heart does not keep a record of wrongdoings and seeks to mend the relationship.

We can certainly take a lesson from Jesus, who was constantly offended and suffered more hurt than we can know.  He always forgave and he wants us to.  In Colossians 3:13, we read "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Thank you for reading.  Again, these are only my thoughts for the day and in no way am I judging anyone. I hope you will pray for me in my daily walk, as I will pray for you.  I would like to leave you with this thought - forgiveness will free you and reflect a Godly heart.  Isn't that what we are all seeking?   My challenge to you this week is to find forgiveness for someone in your life and thus find peace in your own.
Wishing you joy, happiness, love, and peace this week.

2 comments:

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

What a lovely, thoughtful post, Peggy! There's a lot of real home truths in it. I'm really sorry you were unwell again, and I too hope the doctor will get your medicines sorted out soon!

thischihuahuawearspearls said...

Oh, Peggy, I am so sorry to hear you spent time in the ER. That is never a fun place to be, that's for sure. I'm glad you are OK, and I'll keep you and your doctor in my thoughts. Hopefully they will be able to get things working smoothly very soon!

This was a great post, and it really spoke to me. I think sometimes forgiveness is the hardest thing to give someone, and like you said, it does the person holding the grudge the most damage.

For me, I know I need to forgive someone, but I just can't let go of the hurt and anger enough to do that right now. And sometimes that's OK too. We hold on to those feelings until we finally realize we don't need them anymore. Does that make sense?

I also think that sometimes the person we are hardest on and least likely to forgive is ourselves, and that is the person we should be most forgiving of.