From Unforgiveness To Freedom

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” -Bernard Meltzer
Forgiveness has been a struggle for many, whether it is dealing with forgiving others or forgiving ourselves. However, to overcome unforgiveness you must first address the root of the matter and deal with it head on. For some, harboring unforgiveness is about past hurts from failed relationships, childhood abandonment issues and church hurt. Then there are those who struggle with forgiving themselves from decisions they have made in the past that have now caught them in a whirlwind of bitterness and resentment. So often, we hear about people who want to forgive but they are unsure of how to take the first step towards forgiveness. Here are a few that will help you to let go of unforgiveness and start living your life.
STEP 1: Acknowledge That You Haven’t Forgiven
There are people walking around in unforgiveness because they refuse to acknowledge the rotten root. They would rather sweep it under the rug or dress it up and call it something that it clearly is not. By doing this, you are prolonging the healing process, as well as stopping yourself from being able to move forward in life.
STEP 2: Acknowledge Your Roll in the Situation
It is very easy to point the finger at everyone else’s faults and their specific position in the matter, however this step involves taking ownership of what is yours. Look at the situation realistically by seeing it from the outside in. Many times when we do this, we begin to see everything in a new light. We see where we should have spoken up, when we should have removed ourselves from a situation or simply listened more.
STEP 3: Set Yourself Free
Forgiveness has nothing to do with other people but it does have everything to do with you. Meaning, you cannot allow someone else’s actions to determine your happiness and peace of mind. I am in no way minimizing the hurt you may still be feeling to this day, but there is no way you can successfully push forward in life if you insist on hoarding junk from the past. Know that whoever you are harboring unforgiveness towards is living their life, all the while you are the one choosing to be held captive. If this has been an ongoing struggle for you, I challenge you to seek God’s face in the matter, study His word and finally allow yourself to receive the freedom that is yours through Christ Jesus.
Here are several scriptures you can reflect on pertaining to forgiveness..
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9

Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. Psalm 65:3
But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. Daniel 9:9
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12

© 2011 De’Andrea Reese All Rights Reserved.

One thought on “From Unforgiveness To Freedom

  1. I took this excerpt from the book God allowed me to write on forgiveness. Enjoy.

    Love Forgives

    When you have been hurt or wronged, it is human nature to want to hold a grudge. Holding a grudge is like developing cancer that eventually destroys us from the inside out. The tenth way to demonstrate love is by forgiving but not enabling. Many people hold the idea that forgiveness is for the other person. Actually forgiveness is for you. Here is what I mean. Forgiveness searches out the cancer in the forms of bitterness, hate, resentment, grudges, fear, and anger in your soul and eradicates them. Forgiveness allows you to live peacefully and orderly. You may feel like someone does not deserve your forgiveness. This person may have hurt you in a way that has shaken and turned your world upside down.

    Why Should I Forgive?

    In Romans12:19-21, Paul’s command to not repay evil for evil sounds impossible when we listen to it in the flesh. Forgive those who have hurt me? You may be telling yourself that this is too hard to do. You could be thinking, “This person who has hurt me does not deserve my forgiveness. Also, to add insult to injury, the person is not even apologetic for his or her actions, and I’m the one that has to forgive!” The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven you. Many times we forget how many times God has forgiven us. We then become hesitant to forgive others. Realizing God’s infinite love and forgiveness can help you and I forgive others.

    How Often Should I Forgive Someone?

    “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21, 22 (NIV)

    That would be 490 times. Peter had a definite rationale for saying “seven times.” The Jews had ruled that one could only be forgiven three times, but never a fourth. Realizing Jesus would show more mercy than the Jews, he must have thought seven times was more than fair.

    Christ’s response shows how important forgiveness is. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (verse 22). He means that we are not to limit our forgiveness to a specific number of times. As often as someone offends us and asks forgiveness, we should extend it. Furthermore, even if they do not ask for forgiveness, we should forgive them and treat them properly, setting the right example. Read what Paul writes in Colossians 3:13 (NLT).

    “Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

    In marriage, when you forgive your wife for being unloving and/or disrespectful, you give up your right to hold a grudge and be disrespectful and unloving in return. By forgiving you gain strength and freedom.

    When we forgive that does not mean we forget. Forgiveness means canceling the debt. If a person owed you $100 and never paid it to you, and you decided to forgive them, you would cancel the debt owed. This means that you would still treat them kindly and loving within your interactions. You would not bring up that they once owed you money because you forgave them. You remember the debt, but you do not hold the debt against that person. You simply say, “If I had the opportunity to do to you what you did to me, I would not do it nor would I try to get even with you for doing what you did.” What you do is allow that person to see that their debt was forgiven, but more importantly you choose not to put it in their face that they once owed you. When a person with good will has experienced forgiveness, something strange happens. The person knows the one they have wronged remembers the debt, but when you do not hold it against them (not to be confused with accountability), it allows that person to see Christ in you. When that person sees Christ in you, Christ can then begin to work on their soul and convict their spirit.

    Too many times we attempt to do God’s job of convicting and changing people. God created man and woman in His image. It is going to take the power of God to change people to line up their beliefs, feelings, and actions with His. You and I have no such power to change the soul and spirit of a man or woman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s