One of the most difficult things in life is forgiving those who hurt us–or the ones we love. Forgiveness is never for the offender, though. Forgiveness frees us! I am excited to share another ‘taste’ of the spiritual journaling book.
Working through Forgiveness
Forgiveness allows us to LIVE the Gospel in the most tangible way possible. Practicing forgiveness is an immense privilege! In it, we share the fellowship of Christ’s suffering:
Matthew 6:9-15 (v 12) _______________ says to forgive.
Mark 11:25 …so that Your Father in heaven may _________________.
Matthew 18:21-35 Forgiveness sets _________________.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 Prevents ______________ from gaining a foothold.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Measure of the _____________ I have received.
Romans 8:28 All of life is Father-filtered. All works for the _________!
Now even with all those encouragements, forgiveness is hard! One technique which helps is learning to separate the person from the sin. Jesus did it. On the Cross–as He suffered and faced the horrifying time of separation from the Father, he said:
“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
The soldiers knew they were crucifying him, but they didn’t understand the fullness of their acts. The same is true for those who hurt us (and those we hurt). Mercy triumphs!
The details matter in forgiving. Blanket statements will not suffice; be specific in forgiving:
“I forgive ______________ for ________________.”
Face the emotion(s) knowing there is nothing Jesus cannot heal. A friend uses a rhyme that helps me in times of deep hurt: “I will feel it because Jesus will heal it.”
Allow yourself to feel the emotion and ask Jesus to come to it, through it and take it away. Jesus is unchanging and His presence still heals.
When you have soaked in the beauty of Christ’s presence, you will see the past in a new light. What had been hurt becomes a spot sweetened by the presence of God.
Alongside that aspect is this: time and maturity offers a different perspective. Sometimes a fresh perspective eliminates what had been a wound. In either scenario, awareness of the presence of God brings light to darkness.
Allowing the past to have a hold on you negates the work of the Cross. There is nothing Jesus has not atoned for…the price has been paid.