Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
A sister in Christ, Christie Bryant, sent me a profound message on forgiveness written by Terri Savelle Foy, the daughter of well-known ministry, .
I decided to rewrite Terri’s version of “Forgiveness is a Choice” as it has applied to my life and my past. I have referenced some of her message, but I have added my own insights for emphasis.
UNFORGIVENESS…..A delicate subject that every single one of us has dealt with. Unfortunately, some live in a vicious cycle of unforgiveness which can lead to a lifetime of unforgiveness. Getting our feelings hurt, being offended, feeling resentful and/or bitter are areas we all face relationally on one level or another.
When Terri Savelle Foy was in high school she participated in gymnastics. Each summer the team would take a break, but would return to full force training in the fall. When Terri would begin practicing the uneven bars after taking three months off, her hands would become raw from the blisters that would develop from her hands rubbing continuously on the bars. The pain would become so severe that she had no choice but to wrap them with tape in order to endure the consistent swinging on the bars. The more she practiced the tougher the skin on her hands became, because of the calluses she developed. Her hands became so hard from the calluses that she couldn’t even feel her own skin.
This is what can happen to our hearts if we are hurt, abused, or mistreated. Sometimes when someone has hurt us, we become so self-centered that we share our story of pain as if no one else has experienced it. And, even though it’s not something we should keep bottled inside, it’s extremely crucial to recognize that dwelling on the pain will lead to a hardening of our heart. Our heart will become callous and cold. We will become numb and indifferent to Scripture that commands us to embrace the love and mercy of the Lord, and we will fail to take the steps necessary to forgive. Instead, we stew inside and obsess over the offense and replay it over and over in our head analyzing each detail. Whenever we are around people who haven’t heard our story, we are compelled to share our pitiful plight.
So, what’s the answer? Simply to forgive. You ask how? The only way. Give it to God, ask God to help you with your unforgiveness. CHOOSE to cancel the debt. CHOOSE to LET IT GO. When we stop swinging over and over the uneven bars…..when we choose to stop doing and saying whatever it is that has calloused our heart…..that is when healing takes place. When we decide to stop reliving the pain, God can and will do a miracle in our heart. It’s sad that some people go around trying to be a debt collector, trying to get people to pay the debt that they feel is owed to them. However, no one can pay that debt back. Why? Because that debt was paid once and for all at the CROSS.
God is the only true VINDICATOR. His love wants to hold us…..He wants to heal our hearts supernaturally. God will turn a heart of stone into a heart of clay. He will restore us completely. It’s a promise of His, but He cannot do His work until we do our part. However, we cannot wait until we “feel” like forgiving, because we will be waiting forever. The feeling will not come until after we have taken the faith steps to CHOOSE TO FORGIVE. The tenderness in our heart will return with the help of Jesus.
The most powerful reason to forgive …….HE FORGAVE US. He took the nails for us, and He had done absolutely nothing wrong. He took the blame. He took the shame. He took the pain. HE is the only ONE who was capable of giving HIS ALL for every sin we have ever committed or ever will commit. That is the weight of the world.
So, if you want to travel light…..release the burden of forgiveness. Terri suggests a beautiful confession to get you started:
“LORD, I CHOOSE BY FAITH TO FORGIVE (and say their name) FOR WHAT THEY DID TO ME (or what they did to someone you love).
FORGIVENESS BRINGS HEALING
IT’S A CHOICE….CHOOSE HEALING
BECAUSE HE CHOSE YOU!!