I found myself plagued with anger, resentment, and bitterness. I failed to forgive the one person who had betrayed me most. At an early age, I experienced a betrayal of trust, which would lead me into a seemingly never-ending cycle of brokenness. My failure to forgive would place chains on me that I believed could not be broken.
I justified my negative attitude, nonchalance, and disrespect towards the perpetrator because I believed it was deserved. Yet, I was operating in a spirit of error, which I did not understand. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” (Luke 6:27).
One day, my husband told me that I could not give anyone that much control over my emotions. I would have to take the power back, which started with forgiveness. It has been a long road, but I am thrilled to say that I finally forgave. I am still learning to forgive myself for the decisions I made from a self-destructive attitude as a result of what I had experienced.
I did not realize the poor decisions I made stemmed from my lack of forgiveness. I was hurt and filled with rage. I erroneously thought I was supposed to hold onto this grudge. Forgiving meant letting go, and I simply could not do that, even at the risk of never healing. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).
Joining a Bible-based church and learning the Word of God was essential to learning to forgive. It opened my heart to the guidance my husband had been giving me for years. And it allowed my heart to embrace the Word of God, which instructs me in the following manner: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
The greatest lesson learned was that forgiving those who hurt or betrayed me starts with a decision. I could not move forward properly in my life or attain healing until I chose to forgive. That’s right; you have options. The enemy wants you to be stuck in that place of lack of forgiveness, because he has control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions. He essentially is keeping you from the will of the Almighty and your life’s work and purpose. How can the Lord use anyone whose heart is embattled with a lack of forgiveness?
The Master can heal anything you have been through. There are no limitations to His love or His dunamis power. The only limitations that exist are the ones you place on Him by failing to obey His command to forgive those who have wronged you. Our Heavenly Father sends us His Holy Spirit, who comes to guide us, complete us, and give us victory!
Once you forgive others for what they have done to you, you release them from their debt. When you fail to forgive, you hold an attitude towards them that says they owe you something. You continue to expect them to make up for what they have done, or somehow repay what they have taken. It’s impossible, so give it up.
Forgiving others releases you from anger, hurt, and shame. You no longer walk around in the shadow of victim, with a “V” emblazoned on your chest. Rather you boldly wear the “V,” which represents “Victory/Victor.”
Forgiving others empowers you to live your life to the fullest, serving the Lord God completely. It empowers you to know real and lasting power, which belongs to Him. When you forgive, you return back unto Him the ability to mete out justice to your enemies, and to bless you. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5).
I will not lie. Forgiveness is not always an easy task; yet, it is not impossible. Through prayer, faith, and studying His Word, you can walk in forgiveness. You simply need to stop resting on your own powers to do it and rest on the Lord’s. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2).
Forgiveness does not mean you have to be in relationship with the oppressor. It means healing and living a purpose-filled life.
Allow Him to truly enter your heart so that forgiveness may take over, peace may dwell within, and victory will be yours!
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