Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Forgive You, I think

Forgive and forget.  Forgive you neighbor.  Forgive others as He forgave you.  Forgive seventy times seven.  I've heard them all, have you?  It's just the 'Christian' thing to do.  We forgive any and everyone who offends us, cuts us off on the highway, hurts our feelings, breaks into our car, or anything else someone could possibly do to us.  Because that's what Christ would do.  Forgive.  Turn the other cheek.  But do we really forgive as Christ does?

I don't know about your bible, but in mine it says that He will remember my sins no more.  It also tells me that they have been cast into the depths of the sea.  Is that how I forgive others?  Um, no...I may say that I forgive someone or something and most times I mean it, but I still remember it.  I don't cast it into a 'sea of forgetfulness'.  Instead, it gets locked in a little compartment in my mind for Satan to find and bring out some day.

So, how do I display biblical forgiveness?  I must say that I have no idea.  But I did do a little definition digging and really liked this version:

Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution (wikipedia)

Now I can do a process.  I can recognize an offense.  I can extend the forgiveness.  I can really mean it.  But how do you conclude resentment or anger?  Let me know when you figure that one out.  The only way I know how to do that is to seek the help of the ultimate Forgiver.  If you truly desire to display forgiveness, then give it to Him.  When Satan tries to rear his ugly head, pick up the Word and read passages on forgiveness.  Pray.  Get an accountability partner.  Replace angry and resentful thoughts with pure, good ones.

I want to be a picture of Him on this earth.  I want to glorify Him.  True forgiveness is one trait that He has that I want to display to others (and for myself).  I don't know how to do it in my own power, but I know that through Him and the Holy Spirit that dwells in me, I am able. 


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12 comments:

Ashley Pichea said...

A quote I read this week puts this all into perspective: "It is impossible to forgive someone if you feel superior to him or her." Only when we view others as Christ views us can we truly forgive.

Lisa said...

I don't forgive like Jesus either. I can hang on to resentment. You're right - the only way we can truly forgive and forget is to seek help from our Father. I want to be like Jesus in every way!

Jenifer said...

I want to forgive like Jesus forgives, it can be difficult. It is a learning process. We have to learn to live like God. Thank you for the reminder.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

For me, letting go of the resentment, etc. is an ongoing process of surrender to God.

Heidi said...

Forgiveness is tough, but I'm realizing it's more for me than anyone. I'm so glad we have such an amazing example to live by!

thewritelife2 said...

You got to look at Matthew, too, and take it all in context. I can't remember where it is, but if I google it, I can find it. Forgive like Jesus said, but also remember what it says in Matthew to be as innocent as a dove and smart as a serpent (it's close enough, but to see it's original wording look it up). It means Christians aren't a doormat. But, for our own sakes, as much as the other, to go through the process of forgiveness. It won't mean you'll enjoy the same relationship as you did before the offense, and in fact, that relationship may never be again, but you can go forward in peace because you worked through the offense and have rid your soul of the bitterness.

thewritelife2 said...

I like my litmus test for forgiveness. Can I walk by the offender without feeling resentful or angry or bitter? If no, keep praying for them and yourself.

Amy Sullivan said...

Forgiveness is a toughie for me. I'd like to think I forgive, but in reality, I hold on to grudges and wrong doings for much too long.

Phather Phil Malmstrom said...

Excellent point Allison. Jesus set the bar REALLY high on forgiveness, so we certainly have a tough height to reach for. I certainly haven't found that level of understanding, but I'm still praying... :-)

Have a Blessed Day!

Sheryl said...

Forgiving as Jesus forgave is a tall order that's for sure. I think it's possible--but only with his help. I think the forgetting depends on the offense on this side of eternity. Forgive and forget (in more extreme cases) leads to some really unsavory situations that I don't think God asks of us.

Bonnie Gray said...

Allison, I loved how you were real with this post. Forgiveness is not a one time, one word answer. It is an unfolding journey of love and changing identities. Currently, God is showing me to consider the resentment & anger I feel as a part of the old me who was wounded and hurt. I can't forget, but I can see that as who I was and not who I am. That's the encouragement for me this week, but next week, I'll need a new one. Forgiveness needs new shots of faith. Thank you for giving us yours in the jam! Stimulating!

Debbie Dillon said...

Agreed - it's a tough one! But I love your honesty here. So many of us are right there with you sharing in the sometimes difficult spots in the journey.
God Bless!
OOOH! Gotta add: I just noticed that beautiful pic of your whole family at the bottom of the screen! What a gorgeous bunch you are!!! :)