The Divinity of Forgiveness
Can I ask a serious question? What’s love got to do with it?
I mean, we literally have an entire day in the month of February dedicated to and centered around love, but I’ve yet to see a national holiday dedicated to forgiveness.*
I’m not knocking the importance of showing love and gratitude towards those you care for the most, but if you’ve yet to forgive your worst enemy then you’ve yet to experience true love (and I speak from experience, not judgement).
In my past I’ve been extremely unforgiving, stubborn and, honestly, just plain selfish. When I tell y’all I was the ‘Cut Off Queen’— meaning cutting communication clean off and cutting anyone out of the picture that I felt wronged me— I showed very little care for reconciliation. My feelings were always a priority over someone else’s and regardless of if the other person was genuinely apologetic, it was [half a] strike and you’re out.
Now, I wholeheartedly agree you should protect yourself and your emotions from abuse and mistreatment, but it seemed as though I was protecting myself from forgiveness and love.
I thought by holding on to my or someone else mistakes as reminders, I’d avoid making the same mistakes again. In reality my past ended up holding me hostage... for years.
Then a few months ago something intense happened...
I finally forgave myself.
I forgave myself for being a stumbling block in my moments of weakness or disobedience.
I forgave myself for waiting so long to ask myself (and others) for forgiveness.
I forgave myself for shrinking away from what God wanted for me because of doubt or fear.
I forgave myself for being so unforgiving.
And through this “self-forgiveness” I experienced a love deeper and truer than I’ve ever felt before. So deep I couldn’t help but weep and thank God for revealing Himself to me through forgiveness.
It was this divinity of forgiveness that I began to witness the real impact forgiving has.
| It Heals
Forgiveness heals parts unknown to you.
We often think forgiving someone else just releases them from accountability, but it actually has very little to do with them.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but forgiving others is for your benefit even more so than theirs. Forgiveness releases you from captivity and get this: There are some things you’ll never uncover about yourself until you forgive others and yourself.
| It Empowers
Holding a grudge may seem easy, but it’s hard on you.
Unforgiveness holds hostage space in our heart that God’s wants to fill with joy, love and peace. I realized that I couldn’t truly experience the fullness of God’s love if I didn’t learn how to forgive.
| It is Heavenly
When you forgive, even for the lightest offense, you unlock the very mindset of Jesus Christ.
Think about it— who do you know that’s more forgiving than the one who we repent to daily? When you forgive, you truly begin to model His ways and welcome His will ‘on Earth as it is in heaven.’
Write down ONE thing you need to forgive yourself for. Just one. (I don’t want this to turn into a past-dwelling session.)
Then I want you to pray over that thing saying (aloud):
“Lord, I knew better. I won't offer up any excuses for my intentions/thoughts/actions.
I’m repent and ask you show me how to avoid doing it again (and how not to keep dwelling on it)?”
Repeat this daily if you have to until you hear what you have to do. Set aside time to fast for it in order to add works to your faith. Go at your own pace, be patient with yourself and allow God to show you the divinity of forgiveness.
Additional Resource: Visit the 5 Apology Languages website to discover ways to ask for forgiveness from others that resonates most deeply with them. #LifeChanger
*So there are several nationally recognized days set aside for forgiveness, one of which July 7th, but you probably didn't know that. Neither did I.