LEARNING TO FORGIVE

Learning to forgive is one of the most important lessons one must face as we grow in our Christian lives. Forgiveness is the basis of our Christian faith.

We learn to forgive because we are asked by God to forgive. We learn to forgive because we too need to be forgiven. We learn to forgive because we learn that these burdens in our hearts will do nothing but eat away at our very soul.

Learning to forgive lies at the heart of a good Christian marriage. We are not perfect people, and we make mistakes.

We must always try to remember that it really does not matter why someone has chosen to hurt us. What really matters is that we recognize that the forgiving is for us . We do not forgive and condone, rather, we release our hearts from the anger and pain that comes when bad things happen to us.

Since we are not the judge on this earth we must leave that part to our Father in Heaven. We must however not let the hurts that we face and the unforgiving spirit rule our lives and hearts. This particular anger is so life destroying. Many many people right now are walking around carrying tremendous hurts, anger, feelings of revenge and hatred toward someone that they cannot let go. If you do not release these feelings in forgivness the only person who will hurt is....... YOU !

Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; revenging one makes you but even with him; forgiving it sets you above him.

----Benjamin Franklin

We must also learn to forgive completely. If we don't, we will become two faced people. On one hand wanting or saying we forgive, but on the other, watching and waiting for the other person to slip up again. This truly is not the forgiveness that Jesus Christ died to give us. In Christ your own sins are erased completely! This applies to everyone. This is the word of God! We all want this from our Father in heaven for our own lives, yet, extending this to others that have hurt us can sometimes another story. We are reminded that in order to be forgiven ourselves, we must also forgive others. We can never become complete again without truly forgiving first!

In marriage when forgiveness is needed we must do so wholely and completely so that the marital trust can begin to heal again. In our marriage the knowledge that we are committed to forgiveness as Christ has given to us both, is part of the bond we share to care for each other. Knowing this in our hearts allows us to be ourselves with each other. It also will make you want to become a better person for your mate and for your marriage.

We might also add that in families that are divorced the very act of unforgiveness between the parents will cause irreparable damage to your children. Divorce itself is so painful for the children. In our opinion divorce is not the answer. The forgiving process can be slow, but it begins by releasing this pain to God and gradually coming to complete forgiveness in your heart.

It means putting the eyes of Jesus on and looking straight at the person who has hurt you! It's knowing that you cannot condone bad behavior, but that you free yourself beginning today with at least a small part of the pain.

It means leaving all judgement to God for others. It means trying each and every day to leave the anger with God, until one day you notice that your heart has become lighter, and your face begins to brighten and you quietly know that with Jesus you are not alone.

"As we forgive people, we gradually come to see the deeper truth about them, a truth our hate blinds us to, a truth we can see only when we separate them from what they did to us. When we heal our memories we are not playing games, we are not making believe. We see the truth again. the truth about those who hurt us is that they are weak, needy, and fallible human beings."

(Excerpt from Forgive & Forget, by Lewis B. Smedes)

It may also mean forgiving yourself as well. How many people live their lives in deep depression for the forgiveness they cannot give to themself? Have you a need to repent today for something you have done? Your heavenly Father is always ready to hear you and His forgiveness is without a doubt the best gift you will ever receive.

Do you need to see forgiveness in your heart today. Don't fall into the enemy's trap which may tell you that you need to hold on to anger and pain or get even. It just is not true, it's a lie.

Even the biggest of "monsters" that roam this earth need to be forgiven by us. We know that we cannot let "them" win the battle. This is exactly what they want.....destroyed souls! Unforgiving hearts become destroyed people.

Let God take your burdens so you can find your way back home!

Then, ... let God handle the rest!

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Dear God, I come today with a heavy heart. I have been hurt and I don't know what to do. I know I must learn to forgive, and release this pain to you.

Please help me to let go of this pain Father. Show me the way to become whole again. I don't like the way I am feeling, I want to find joy and peace and love in my life.

Help me find the way to put on your Son's eyes. Let me see my life with His eyes today. I thank you Father for your everlasting love and comfort that guides me each and every day. I know all I need to do is ask, and you will be here for me.

Please also forgive me Father for those things that I have not done in your will.

Teach me the way to forgiveness Father,......I want to be free.

This I pray in your loving Son's name, Jesus,

Amen
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Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3: 12-1