Reading “The Art of Forgiving” by Lewis B. Smedes. Here are a few things I’d like to share from what I’ve read.
“It takes one person to forgive.
It takes two to be reunited.
Forgiving happens inside the wounded person.
Reunion happens in a relationship between two people.
We can forgive a person who never says he is sorry.
We cannot be truly reconciled unless he is honestly sorry.
We can forgive even if we do not trust the person who wronged us once to not wrong us again.
Reunion can happen only if we can trust the person who wronged us once not to wrong us again.
Forgiving has no strings attached.
Reunion has several strings attached.
If my life as well as yours we have wronged and have been wronged. We have offended and we have been offended but pity the person who cannot forgive. When you don’t forgive, you injure yourself because within, you are re-living and re-experiencing that pain over and over again. When you see them or hear about them, something within you churns. Something stirs within you and disrupts your peace. You don’t want to talk about them, you don’t want to acknowledge them, and you don’t want a thing to do with them. The pain is real, no one is denying that, but when will you release yourself from the pain of what happened? When will you enjoy your life or will you lead a bitter one? You can’t change what happened but you can change you.
Some very devastating things have happened in my life from childhood until a decade ago when I decided to put a stop to it. From molestation, rape, verbal and physical abuse, abandonment, rejection, and much more, I made a conscious decision to LET IT GO!!! The life I live now in Christ far outweighs the things the enemy has used people to do to me. I laugh, love, and live abundantly because I found a place in God called REST!! I have released my past and the nightmares of it and have moved on. I can pray for those who wounded me and MEAN IT. I can smile and embrace them when I see them and MEAN IT because God delivered me from BITTERNESS.
People often comment on how inspirational and encouraging I am and I have to credit my God. He removed the pain, the guilt, and the stain of yesterday and He has allowed me to enjoy my life to the fullest. I can encourage you because I am encouraged. I can make you laugh because I laugh. I can inspire you because I am inspired. What you see in my character is the fruit of who I am and I think we all need to do ourselves a favor and learn to forgive those who have trespassed against us as we expect God to forgive us for trespassing against Him.
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It doesn’t take much to be angry. In fact, if you will sit quiet for only 10 minutes and reflect on what has happened to you and what others have done to you, anger can be stirred and arise from hidden places. Anger manifests in one of two ways, outwardly or inwardly. An outwardly angry person is explosive. Every one in close proximity to this type of angry person feels the blow. Those around them will feel threatened, offended, insulted, and even intimidated. This is the angry person with an explosive nature.
The other type of angry person is inwardly angry. This type of person is more dangerous than the former because their anger is insulated. They have veiled their anger behind forced smiles and artificial relations with others. What makes this person so dangerous is that they are trying to mask an emotion that will not be silenced. Anger cannot be closeted, it must be revealed and resolved. The inwardly angry person is implosive. This means they have a dangerous emotion trapped inside of their soul which, unbeknownst to them, constantly gnaws away at the fruit of their character. These types of angry people are a serious harm to themselves. They are subject to addictions to pacify and keep anger at bay. They are self-destructive, many times walking away from good, God graced opportunities such as jobs, careers, ministry, family, and relationships because when they sense an impending implosion, a release of anger they don’t want anyone to see, to save themselves, they abandon ship. The Lord is saying that today is the day He wants you, the angry person, to release this pent up emotion that is consuming the person He created you to be. He wants to replace your anger with joy. He wants to help you avoid the disasters of life that accompany angry men. Don’t be ashamed of the hurt, the pain, and the disappointment because there were very real disturbing events which led to those feelings, but it is not His will for you to live in a place called anger. The Lord desires for you to enjoy life beyond the failures and mishaps and has summoned you today to take His hand and let Him lead you there. This is the Lord’s mind and heart today toward the angry man. The time of your redemption is at hand; deliverance has come. Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. NIV
You’ve been asking the Lord to do a certain thing for you but whenever He starts to move, you get in the way. Yet you wonder why it is taking so long for the matter to be resolved. If you are going to release a matter unto the Lord for Him to resolve, then do just that, RELEASE IT. That means to stop worrying about, stop figuring about it, and stop talking about it. Leave IT ALONE!
When the thought comes to mind, occupy that mental space with something else because God is not going to compete with you to work out something for you. Either He has full access or not. When you learn to remove your little, sticky fingers from the equation and allow God’s well capable Hands to take its place, then you will see the issue resolved.
Everyone has been hurt. Whether we have suffered injury from an intimate relationship, family, work, church or community, we all have been emotionally scarred at some point in our lives. Some of us are able to process the pain and move forward while others carry it around like a duffel bag tied to their hip. You were not designed to carry heavy emotions over an extended period of time. God gives us a grace and a space to deal with our problems before they take root and become a formative part of our character. You cannot dress up a hurt. It is what it is and it will ultimately reveal itself whether you care for it to or not.
Damaged emotions are leaky and they spill. They need to be cleaned up in the presence of God in private prayer, not at the altar on Sunday. This is going to take some time and it’s going to get real ugly when all the intricate details come to surface. It is high time to stop walking around like a normal somebody while trying to hide what is really lurking behind the smile. Get to God, get in prayer, and get delivered. Your life is too precious to waste it being bitter against someone who isn’t even thinking about you. Let it go.