The Write 31 Day Challenge – Write 31 Days,Every Topic,Same Topic
(day 1 starts here)
You will never be more like Jesus than when you forgive. - Pastor Ken Dyck, Freedom Session International Click To Tweet
Okay friends, I’m going to give it to you up front here. This entire post today is about forgiving others and it is long because I believe it is THAT important! The entire tone of my story would’ve been different if it hadn’t been for forgiveness. Forgiveness of God, myself, and others.
You’ll also note a lot of quotes by Pastor Ken Dyck of Freedom Session International,because much of what I’ve learned about forgiveness came through this program. So have a seat beside me and let’s begin:
Writing a concise post about forgiveness is terribly complicated when there are so many levels of wounding in our lives. For instance, it’s much easier to forgive my husband for forgetting to pick up my bar of Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree at the grocery store than it is to forgive those girls in high school who caused such great emotional damage in my life.
But forgiveness is the KEY to freedom. Click To Tweet That’s why it’s important that we forgive those who’ve harmed us and that’s why God commands us to do so.
When we refuse to forgive, we allow our enemy the devil, to have a foothold in our lives (Foothold: a secure position from which further progress may be made). When we choose to forgive, Satan’s power is broken and we open the door for God to fully work in and through our lives.
So if forgiveness is the KEY to freedom let’s talk about keys. We all know that a key is used to open locks. Living our lives with unforgiveness toward others causes us to be imprisoned behind a locked door. Click To TweetA prison filled with bitterness, anger, and resentment.
Believe me, I’m speaking from personal experience here. When I lived in my own prison of unforgiveness, each time a hurtful memory arose I’d rehash it, reliving the pain. Over and over and over ad nauseum!
To be honest, the release of pent up emotion felt good for awhile, but the feelings always resurfaced. Until I finally chose forgiveness.
TRUTH:Every time we choose to dwell in unforgiveness a LOCK is added to the jail cell of our own making. Click To Tweet
What??? It’s not my actions that caused this pain I feel! While that’s true, continuing to live in the pain due to unforgiveness is a choice.
You hold the key of forgiveness in your hand and you make the choice to use or not to use that key. Click To Tweet
When we live in a prison of unforgiveness we live with the ongoing personal effects of being hurt. Those hurts may cause us to feel like we aren’t enough or that we are unworthy. We may feel great rage at others, or even at ourselves for allowing ourselves to be hurt by another.
Nothing good ever comes my way. Click To Tweet
It seems like God cares about what happens to other people but He must not care about me. Click To Tweet
Living in this toxic emotional state can lead to mental disease, physical ailments, even death. In order to survive the pain some try to mask it through drugs and alcohol, cutting, pornography, or more acceptable behaviors such as perfectionism, achievement, workaholism, or even being a super worker at church!Some coping methods can seem like positive actions but in reality are only a mask for the pain. Click To Tweet
Do you know what the saddest thing of all is? The person who hurt you may not even know that they hurt you, may not remember that they hurt you, or they may not remember YOU at all! But here you are, living with the consequences of their sin. My husband, master of witty phrases, likes to say,
Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Click To Tweet
On the other hand:Forgiveness breaks the chains that have bound us to those who have hurt us! Click To Tweet
So how do we forgive? Pastor Ken Dyck of Freedom Session International states that, “True forgiveness is always motivated by compassion.”
Matthew 18:21-35 tells the story of the unmerciful servant who was forgiven a huge debt by his master but refused to forgive one who owed him only a small amount of money. Verse 35 sums up the story by saying that,
Forgiveness must come from the very depths of our hearts! Click To Tweet
Wow! That’s asking a lot! How do we feel compassion for those who’ve hurt us?
That kind of compassion can only come from God and from having come to a place of realizing how much my own sin cost Father God and His son Jesus. Have you ever experienced deep sorrow over the pain your actions caused Him? I’m not saying you need to go back into an attitude of shame and condemnation. What I’m saying is that coming to a heartfelt understanding of how great His mercy is to save you will help you to have a heart for forgiving others.
Some points to think about:
- We must come into agreement with God that UNforgiveness is WRONG.
- Understand that forgiveness is required even if the person who harmed you is not sorry.
- Know that forgiveness is a choice – because you won’t feel like doing it.
- Understand that forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. God has the ability to forget but we don’t. Pastor Ken Dyck states that, “Sadness, not bitterness, is the appropriate emotion to recall in my memory, of the painful things that have happened to me.”
- Complete forgiveness includes releasing our “judgments” against others. Ex. “I’ve forgiven Sally but she will always be a liar.” This is in effect holding Sally captive by our judgment about who she is rather than seeing her as God does.
- Stop having negative expectations of others or expecting them to do wrong.
- Forgive even if the person who wronged you hasn’t asked for forgiveness. Christ’s example to those who crucified him was to say, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
- Don’t carry expectations that the person you’ve forgiven will come to you and make things right.
- Stop the “instant replay” of the incident, or the sin against you.You can spend your whole life dwelling on what’s been done to you.
- Choose to dwell on the ONE thing that was done for you. Take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ – II Cor. 10:5, and choose to dwell on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent or praiseworthy – Phil. 4:8
- Determine in your heart that Christ in you is stronger than your memory.
- Ask God to give you His view of the people who harmed you, to see them the way He sees them. It is likely that their sin against you is a result of their own brokenness.
- Ask God to work in your heart, releasing the pain you’ve held onto and letting Him fill you with more of Him. The deeper you’ve been wounded the more freedom you will experience when you begin to forgive. (Pastor Ken Dyck) Click To Tweet
- It takes time, but His love will replace bitterness and pain and His Spirit will change your way of thinking. As the memories and the feelings arise again to haunt you, remember that it is the enemy’s goal is to keep us in prisons of unforgiveness. By choosing forgiveness we choose freedom!
- “Yeah but . . .” Yeah but nothing! We need to stop trying to justify our perceived right to be offended. Jesus didn’t give us that right. It only keeps us in a place of fear, bitterness and pain, and from living in the the fullness of God!
- As we walk in intimacy with Jesus, taking on Christ’s nature, forgiveness becomes easier, especially in light of all He has done for you and ME!
I told you this was going to be long. Please join me again tomorrow and we’ll see if we can make it shorter. On Day 21 we’ll talk about Forgiving God. Whoa, wait! Has God sinned?
I promise it will be good 🙂
To catch this series from the beginning you can start Day 1 HERE. I’d be forever grateful if you’d share this series on your social media 😉
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Sharon H says
Nicely said! and I know the answer to that question! :*)
🙂 🙂 🙂
Jean Kruczynski says
You are a very gifted writer!
You are a good, GOOD friend Jean. Self doubt can be deadly to the inspiration behind the writing. Bless you!