Word for Wednesday: Forgiveness, or He’ll Give Ya POWER

June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

“Our Father in heaven, holy is Your name….forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us…” Matthew 6

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11

Forgiveness is powerful stuff. With it, you release people from your condemnation. And with it, you release yourself from bondage. It’s absolutely necessary to forgive others to receive God’s forgiveness. God knows that when we forgive other people, we release that tightly-wadded, miserly fist of bitter emotion and open our heart to receive His help.

Everybody knows what it’s like to feel unforgiveness. It’s that nasty, sharp feeling in the gut when you hear that person’s name mentioned, or you see him or her in school or at the playgrounds or at the store. And everyone has a good reason to hold unforgiveness. After all, I haven’t met any person who is perfect. Someone has hurt me along the way, on purpose and by accident. Yet I’ve also hurt others along the way, on purpose and by accident. We make mistakes, that’s life. We err and sin, and that’s life, too. And God understands that, which is why He set up the standard for forgiveness. We MUST forgive. And if we are forgiving and they are forgiving, you’re getting forgiveness as well as giving it. That’s very powerful freedom. And it releases you from walking on eggshells with people, and also from being a doormat or landscape mulch by other people.

Now, forgiveness doesn’t mean “forget.” Jesus never said “Forgive and forget.” That saying is kind of dumb. If a guy walks up to you and accidentally clobbers you on the head, you forgive him, yeah. But you don’t just stand there, forgetting what he did, or else you’re still in the way and will accidentally clobbered again! Jesus said to forgive– even forgive 70 times 7!– but He never said “And forget the incident ever happened so you can be a target over and over again.” We are human beings, not Rubberecycle!

Science proves that forgiveness is healthful for the body. Forgiveness releases beneficial hormones into your body. There have been many studies about the health benefits to forgiveness. Forgiveness reduces stress on the heart and circulatory system. It soothes stiffened joints. And you just FEEL better, too. Forgiveness is more healthful to your body than a vegetarian diet, than exercise.

Fuschia Stargazer Lily

I have practiced forgiveness in my life. I thought it would be so very hard, that 10,000 elephants would have to drag it out of me. But you know, it wasn’t hard at all. Sometimes it took a lot of determination, but once I made up my mind to do it no matter what, it was surprisingly easy. AND delightful.

God puts a lot of weight on forgiveness. It’s one of the ignored standards, I think. Oh, we emphasize prayer and good eating and not smoking and dieting and Lent and all that stuff… but the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him (Psalm 25). If you’re listening to Him, you’ll know what to do, and all the religious rituals will be empty (as they are and ought to be). You will have a special relationship with Him. So that when that sharp, bitter feeling reaches your throat again, you will have the strength to turn to God and say in your mind, “We forgave that person, didn’t we, God?”

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

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4 Responses to “Word for Wednesday: Forgiveness, or He’ll Give Ya POWER”

  1. lin Says:

    I guess I don’t understand “forgiveness”. I mean, do you say “Oh, okay, you did me wrong” and move on? Or do you say “oh, I understand why you did that, you poor soul”?

    I don’t do “forgiveness”, but I do move on. There are some people who have done me wrong that I still get steamed up when I think of it–is that forgiveness? I think not. But I don’t let them destroy my life over what they did.

    It’s a funny word and concept. I don’t let folks rule my heart and mind, but I certainly don’t justify what they did to me or excuse it either.

  2. Karen and Gerard Says:

    Forgiveness is one of the keys to a happy life. It just makes sense, too. Being angry at someone and holding a grudge or resentment just make a person feel worse. I am so glad God is forgiving!

  3. bingkaycoy Says:

    This is a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your wisdom about this. I agree with you. Jesus never said “Forgive and forget.” And I’m annoyed when people tell me that as if forgetting it will make me a better person. Forgiving others will make me a better person. I used to struggle with this but when I learned to understand the verse, “Forgive others, so Christ Jesus will forgive you,” it hit me. Why can’t I forgive when God has forgiven me for everything I did wrong and failed to do. That’s the only way I can forgive, recalling what Jesus said about forgiveness.

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    […] Yep. By the glory of God, I do. I wrote about forgiveness in one of my posts: Forgiveness, Or He’ll Give Ya POWAH. […]