Encouragement, Life's Journey

Forgiveness

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January 17, 2015

 

This one word, FORGIVENESS, can hold us back or send us onward as we continue our journey of life. Which direction will you let it take you, forward or backward?

  • A tough topic. Each of us has been on both sides of this word.
  • We have been forgiven. We need to forgive.
  • It’s a complicated word and one that goes against our human nature.

Forgiveness has strong ties with other words.

  • Such as: selfishness, pride, anger.
  • These are dangerous words that effect our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

We hold the experiences of our lives very close. Sometimes it’s hard for us to let go of them. Much of the time they form who we really are.

  • There have been times when we have been angered or wounded.
  • Some of the time the fault is ours, but not always.
  • It’s those times, when others have behaved wrongfully, that we may allow ourselves to be grieved and let these various incidents bring harmful thoughts into our lives and our relationships with others.

Ask yourself this question: What is so important to me that I will give up knowing, respecting and caring for another individual?

  • Would your answer be stuff, money, position, popularity, having your say or possibly just being what you think is the winner in whatever situation you are confronted with?
  • What’s so important about winning?
  • Was your life enhanced for the better?

Anything you may be able to name will fade away. The only thing in this life that is lasting and brings joy to our lives is relationships.

  • You may say; “I don’t care what people think of me.”
  • Phooey, that is just another one of your defense mechanisms.
  • Relationships are what life and eternity is made of.
  • What you do with your life depends upon your relationship with God, family, friends and associates.

I have observed people from all walks of life. They are just like you and I.

Whether a leader or a follower, they all have the struggles of life happen to them. What makes them, you and myself different is how do we respond to these experiences?

Some in leadership that I have known, had wounding events happen to them.

  • Their response was to build fences around their lives.
  • How sad it is to shut yourself off from others.
  • You might not be subjecting yourself to anymore pain, but you become so protective that you miss out on contentment and the joys of life.

When you let go and reach out to whoever offended or hurt you, you gain a sense of freedom and peace.

  • Even if they don’t respond well, you are not chained to whatever event transpired between you and that other individual or individuals.
  • You have been faithful to: FORGIVE AS YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN.

If you have done the best that can be done, then your conscience is clear.

  • You can lay your head down and sleep at night.
  • I can guarantee that the other person involved won’t rest peacefully.
  • I’ve seen it happen for myself.

You say “but, you don’t know what happened to me.”

  • My answer to you is: “you don’t know what happened to me.”
  • The topics of these blogs, including this one right now, are written from the voice of experience.

That’s the whole point of this exercise started last September.

  • To say…..“I’ve been down this road, follow me because I have discovered how to get through the difficult times and to stay on this journey of life with a positive, contented spirit.”

Everything I have shared with you these past few months works.

  • My challenge to you….is to put these things into practice in your life.
  • Then, you will make the same discovery which you can use to be of benefit to those around you.

Forgive, forgive, forgive. The monkey is no longer on your back.

  • The wound will remain there in your memory bank.
  • Like an old scar, it will sometimes reappear.
  • Just don’t let it find a resting spot at the fore front of your life again.
  • Tell yourself “I have forgiven that person, so disappear into the back parts of my mind again” and go on to more pleasant thoughts.

We end with the question first asked at the beginning. FORGIVENESS, which direction will you let it take you, forward or backward?

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free

and discover 

that prisoner was you.”

(Louis B. Smedes)   

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