Sunday, July 19, 2009

Forgiveness as a Disciple

My friends:

Today, the devil got me good. I will not give him his due, but I will let him know today for him, tomorrow for me because I serve a great and wonderful God who brings joy to His children. You see, I was able to drop off my child at a basketball camp, but I was not able to attend church service. However, sometimes I believe things happen for a reason. Even though I did not get to attend church, I was still able to fellowship with a believer. For her, I am grateful. Again, the devil is a liar; he can bamboozle us, but we still have our mouths to praise God. Lord have mercy.

Well, today's message is about forgiveness as a disciple of Christ. I had a conversation with one of my friends over the weekend, and he was telling me how he forgave someone who had done him wrong, but he was still hurt about what happened. Of course, I had to ponder that statement, and, if you know me, I have been thinking about that statement because I was surely taken aback by it because this is someone who I thought is more spiritually mature than I am. As I ponder on why a spiritual person cannot let go of a hurt, I remembered there was a chapter concerning forgiveness and hurt when I was studying Pastor Rick Warren's, The Purpose Driven Life. God is truly an awesome and amazing God. He always sends some confirmation to me when I need help or when I need an answer about a matter that I am unsure of. Thank you Lord.

Pastor Warren wrote that whenever you are hurt by someone, you have a choice to make: Will I use my energy and emotions for retaliation or for resolution? He says you cannot do both. Pastor Warren indicated that in real fellowship people experience mercy. Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren't rubbed in but rubbed out. Fellowship happens when mercy wins over justice. It takes massive amounts of mercy and grace to create and maintain fellowship and God's mercy to us is the motivation for showing mercy to others (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life).

My personal take on this is that it is not true forgiveness if you still have hurt and resentment toward that person or you cannot even approach that person to let him/her know that you have forgiven them, and to ask for their forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go. Let it go. Let it go. If you still have hurt, then how will you move forward? As a disciple of Christ, I believe our duty is to forgive, our duty is to approach someone who has hurt us, who has wronged us and let that person know that you have forgiven her/him and that you will be in prayer for them. As you know, several of my writings are my very own personal experiences and life situations. So, I am speaking from personal experience, my friends. It has taken me many, many, many years to forgive a few people in my life. I mean truly forgive them, where I am now at the point where they are always in my prayers.

My friends, in Paul's letter to the people of Colossae, he reminded them to put all evil things out of their lives: anger, bad tempter, doing or saying things to hurt others, and speaking evil words when you talk. In this new life in Christ, Paul urges us to show mercy to others, be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking (Colossians 3:8-15).

There cannot be any forgiveness if we are still holding on to hurt and we harbor resentment towards a person. As followers of Christ, we should want to be Christ-like in our thinking and our actions. I keep repeating myself in these blogs, but honestly, we will not move forward if we do not let go. We need to let it go, whatever and whomever it may be. We need to let it go. If it is hard to do, then get on your knees and ask God for help, ask God to please bring you mercy and grace. Ask God to give you the gift of forgiveness. My friends, you will not see your head way if you keep holding on to the past and things of the past and people of the past. What is Jesus had still carried the hurt from his Crucifixion? Jesus is hurting when His children display behavior of that of the world.

LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO. As Bishop T.D. Jakes wrote in his poem, Let It Go, "...if you are holding on to past hurts and pain, let it go, let the past be the past, forget the former things, the battle is the Lord's..."

May God have mercy on us, may we have mercy on those who have hurt us and wronged us, but Lord, please forgive us for not wanting to let go.

Ta ta,
Therese from Belize

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