Did you ever try to open a door that creaks for the first time? It startles you for a moment. You either open it really fast to get past the noise of it hitting everyones ears or you drag out the sound of it’s rumble. You actually second guess the motion of it for a moment, especially really old doors in forbidden places you have never been before. If the door makes that kind of noise you begin to wonder whats on the other side of it. If you have ever watched a scary movie then you know there is normally a creaky door or two in them. So sometimes we have a tendency to associate creakiness with creepiness, the creaky door is the beginning of a very startling scene. It scares us for a moment in the wonder of what is waiting on the other side. Some of us can’t get past opening it and others slowly adventure through it tightening up every fabric of their being, thinking if they go slow and quietly what ever is waiting on the other side won’t see them! But what if something wonderful and freeing was waiting for us? Something that would give you joy and peace? Would you go through it no matter how creaky, scary, and difficult the beginning of the scene was?
Well the door to forgiveness definitely has a creaky, scary, and difficult opening to it! It is a forbidden place with a very old door to some. We starting hearing the creaks and squeals of what was done to us and we close the door. But you need to understand that forgiveness isn’t about our thoughts or feelings……forgiveness is a choice we make that surpasses our feelings. It’s a decision we make not a feeling we have. So in order to step into forgiveness we need to first make the decision to open the door. Once we open the door we need to face our feelings (the scary part of the movie), but we need to push past them in order to get through the threshold. How we feel is the biggest threshold to overcoming anything….especially forgiveness! (That’s a whole other article in it’s self.) But once we past through the threshold of feelings we made the first step.
You see Forgiveness is a spiritual principal and a heavenly behaviour. It isn’t a natural human reaction. It is by the Grace of God that we even learn how to forgive in the first place. It is His greatest specialty! C’mon……give me a raise of hands if you have been forgiven by Him!!!! And how many times has He forgiven you???? MORE THEN YOU CAN EVEN COUNT!!!! Yup!! That’s why it is His GREATEST Specialty…..that and His Love for us! The two go hand and hand with each other! Love and forgiveness are inseparable! We need to forgive others in order to recieve forgiveness as well! That is why it is so important! It sets us FREE on so many levels!
Colossians 3:13 ~ “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
It is hard for us to act on forgiveness without understanding where it steams from and how we get the strength to do it in such a painful, hurtful world. That’s why we need His help! It isn’t of our being….it is of His being! It is only through His image that we can find the strength to forgive a deep hurt! Our anger and refusal to forgive can cost us more then we can ever imagine! It hinders our relationships with family, friends, co-workers and especially our Heavenly Father. It makes loud, squeaky, creaks in our heads so we don’t bother opening the door! Instead we stand on the other side of it making our own judgments and squeaky remarks that creep our souls and spirits corrupting our very existence. Living a life based on assumption and offense becomes our normal! A never ending cycle of bitterness. Well let me tell you something, that isn’t the life God has intended for you, but again you need to be willing to walk the walk with him. Not on your own understanding….but on His! He is the only One who can pay you back for what was done to you but He won’t be able to if you keep holding onto it!
The pain and hurt others have caused us in life is real but the pain of living with bitterness and un-forgiveness can corrode your soul and destroy you to the core. When we forgive others, we aren’t saying what they did to us was OK, but we are releasing it to God and letting go of it’s hold on us! We are then set FREE!! So how do we do it? Well first, we need to get a few myths about forgiveness out of the way so you can get over the fear of opening the creaky door to it!
Myth #1 ~ Forgiveness is for the other person ~ NO!! Forgiveness is for you!!!! For some reason we tend to think forgiving someone is letting them off the hook for what they have done to us. Well it isn’t, Forgiveness is about you moving on from the offence that was done to you and being set free from it.
Myth #2 ~ When you forgive someone you are forgetting it ever happened ~ NO we don’t always forget…that is beyond our minds control. We can’t just turn off our memory when we choose to! And forgetting in situations of a deeper level can be dangerous to our being.
Myth #3 ~ I can say that I forgive them but still hold onto what has happened!~ Big fat NO!!! Forgiveness is LETTING GO!!! You can’t tell yourself you forgave someone but still dwell in it! If you are dwelling in it, it means it still has ahold of you! You need to go through the process of forgiving them, and sometimes it means we are there for a little while!
Myth #4 ~ I decided to forgive so I’m good ~ There is more to forgiveness then the simple act of making the decision to do it! Forgiveness takes time and has a process to it. And with in that process takes the commitment of forgiving the person over and over! It isn’t one simple act nor one simple decision! We need to get up and do it everyday over and over! And through that process we will experience the fullness of forgiveness.
Myth #5 ~ I’m not ready to be friends with them again! ~ Well first off there is a big difference between forgiving and rekindling a relationship. The healing and the rebuilding of the relationship takes time…possibly many many years! And just because we have forgiven someone, doesn’t mean we have to be thrown back into the everyday with them! You need to let God do His work on both ends of forgiveness and rekindling relationships! If it is of His will for you to be reunited, He will do the work in both of you.
Myth #6 ~ But that means I have to tell them I forgave them and I can’t do that ~ You don’t have to tell anyone about who you forgave since the forgiving part is for you not them. It is to set YOU free from the burden, not them.
Myth #7 ~ I can forgive them on my own! ~ Well truth be told, anything very difficult in life we need help with. For most of us, if the pain is deep routed, trying to forgive hasn’t worked out to well for us by doing it alone. We can’t be afraid to seek help from someone we trust! And along with those trusted sources we NEED to rely on our Heavenly Father to help us and give us the strength to do it!
Once we get over the myths of forgiveness, we begin to see the actual heart of it and begin to implement it into our lives. Forgiveness heals you! It brings forth a supernatural strength in you that corrects and directs your life onto a road of freedom and abundant joy! When we realize we all need forgiveness, so therefore we have to give forgiveness in order to receive it, the heart of it beings to shine through! And we can’t forget, we need to forgive ourselves as well as others to live an abundant life. A life worth living is a life set Free!!
Ephesians 4:32~ “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”