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Take some time and consider the word, “forgiveness”. What a wonderful word it is! How healing it is!

What emotions does this activity stir in you? Can you find it fills you with a sense of sweet security and well-being? Your conscience is clear and you have peace knowing that nothing is held against you. Is there a word that expresses or encapsulates the love of our Heavenly Father more obviously?

Remove the ending of the word and you are left with, “forgive”. Now suddenly you are on the opposite side of the circumstance. Your emotions change as you contemplate whether, or not you’re prepared to let go of all of the hurts you’ve held onto for years. Intense feelings rise-up and limit your throat and possibly your breathing. Fear, anger, and anger fill your whole being. FORGIVE? How dare anyone suggest such a thing!

Forgiveness is often the last hurdle before we enjoy our healing. We struggle with forgiving those who have hurt us because we believe to forgive means to state, “I’m over the pain”. Or we believe to forgive means, “to allow them off the hook; to let them away with it”. You rationalize your offender does not deserve your forgiveness. He hasn’t come to you and begged forgiveness.

Pride or fear often gets in the way of humane animal removal.

We’re asked, rather commanded, to extend the same mercy to our offender which our Heavenly Father has extended to us.

The word, “give” means “free gift. ” In giving a free gift, you expect nothing in return. A free gift can’t be earned or paid for. It’s an expression of love and mercy. We’re never more like our Heavenly Father than once we extend mercy to someone who may never repay us for the mountain of emotional pain he or she has caused.

Give the entire situation to God and let Him deal with your offender. He has said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” He has got your back. He is on your side. He wants what is best for you. He knows that so long as you continue to this bitterness you will struggle with one health problem after another. Maybe not immediately but it is going to eventually take its toll. Trust that God will provide you the grace to forgive if you will commit to doing His will.

Crucial to forgiveness is the understanding of what it means to genuinely forgive and what it does not.

Forgiveness is not:

Forgiveness is not only ignoring the pain.
Forgiveness is not forgetting the hurtful incident.
Forgiveness is not declaring that the other person was right or what he did was OK.
Forgiveness isn’t allowing the offender to control your life.
Forgiveness isn’t saying you are over the pain.
Forgiveness isn’t saying you forgive, while avoiding the offender.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean the offender should not have to pay the consequences of his actions.
Forgiveness is more for your benefit than for the sake of your offender.
Forgiveness means you are more interested in understanding why something occurred than in getting even.
Forgiveness states that the offender no longer owes you anything.
Forgiveness means you are more concerned about moving ahead with your life than being controlled or limited by your past.
Forgiveness sets you free to move throughout the healing procedure.
Forgiveness, though very difficult, is vital to emotional healing.