This living on earth thing is hard. I’ve been reading the Bible from the beginning. And the whole story of how we were created and how sin came into the world… It’s just baffling.
There is so much pain, heartache, and sin. So many times when people throughout history have let God down, so many times when God forgave them.
Forgiveness follows sin. WE sin, we need forgiveness.
What is the opposite of forgiveness?
Sin started with resentment…
Satan resented God and wanted to be him. Resentment is cancerous to our emotions, spiritual and even physical well being. It will ruin relationships, work, daily life.
I am tired of resentment controlling my life. There have been too many days where I have given my life to resentment instead of surrendering it to God.
Carrying resentment is like walking around with a ball and chain on your ankle AND your wrists. It weighs you down in life.
Yes, I know forgiveness well. I have to ask for it daily!
I have also had to give forgiveness through my life, and daily with kids ( #momlife right?!)
Forgiveness is like the laundry chore of our soul. Just like dirty clothes, resentment builds up on our soul, and stuff has to get sorted out, thrown in the washer (or up in prayer), we have to ask God to cleanse our sins and also ask him to clean the pain and resentment that has been stained on our soul by others.
What happens if all of your clothes are in the hamper? Would you walk around naked?
Your life would be pretty difficult to live without clothes. Daily activities would be uncomfortable; it would be hard to focus on anything! It would be awfully hard to live life naked, in fact, if you were to go to Target naked you’d get arrested!
Resentment is like walking around naked. You just can’t live a good life while holding on to resentment. It’s uncomfortable and makes it hard to focus.
You have to forgive to move on. You have to forgive to have peace. You have to forgive if you want to be forgiven.
You have to forgive if you want to live a life worthy of your calling. A life that shines the light of God to others.
Someone may have hurt you REAL bad. I get it. I’ve been there. There may be resentments building up in your heart. Acknowledge your feelings. You are valid in how you feel. And it’s okay to feel the pain and frustration.
It’s possible you don’t realize you are carrying around resentment.
Here is what resentment does…
It makes make you feel bad about yourself. Feeling bad stops your creative process. Makes you cranky. Makes you tired. Can show up as an addiction like social media scrolling, drinking, drugs, sex, eating disorders, anger problems, and more.
Resentment stops you from moving forward and making progress in your life.
Here is what forgiveness does...
Forgiveness creates healing. Inspires creativity. Gives you energy. Boosts your self-image. Lowers your stress and anxiety, heals your physical body, creates special relationships between you and others, allows God to speak into your heart.
And most importantly allows you to live shining God’s glory to others.
How do we forgive?
First, we have to start with ourselves. We must forgive ourselves for holding on to resentment. For allowing ourselves to walk a life of hurting others. Because yes when we hold on to resentment we hurt others.
Second, we give forgiveness to the people who have hurt or offended us. This may not be as simple as saying you forgive them. There can be a lot of built up pain and resentment around the person who needs forgiveness.
So ask God to help you forgive this person. To walk with you on the road to healing. To help you see what you can learn from about yourselves and others with the resentment you’ve held onto. Journal, pray, read the Bible, talk to a safe person who understands you need a sounding board, not a gossip buddy.
Third, admit and accept the fact that what someone else did hurt you. Journal, pray and talk about what that pain meant, why it hurt you. Discover not only pain you’ve held onto but fears that you’ve had around that pain.
Eventually, hopefully, sooner than later, you will find peace. As long as you keep walking with God through the journey of forgiveness.
Forgiveness can’t be rushed. It can take minutes, or it can take years…
There have been times in my life where forgiveness took years. I learned this process was something God was using to help strengthen my faith in Him. The more I worked on myself and grew my relationship with him the more my eyes were opened to my suffering through resentment. What the suffering meant in my life and what I could learn from the growth taking place so that I could be closer to forgiveness.
I am not free from resentment. Daily I get offended over something. Sometimes small things, sometimes big things. But my daily walk with God which includes waking early, journaling, praying and reading helps me to forgive quickly.
Forgiveness is a skill, and my forgiveness skills are getting better. And yours can too!
I wish I could share with you the big and even the small things I’ve had to forgive because there are many I am sure you could relate to. But there are a few reasons why I will not share these with you.
First of all, I feel like sharing my stories of forgiveness with you would feel a bit like gossiping about others. And I have forgiven these people and offenses in my life; I do not want to rehash things that have already been erased in God’s eyes.
Second, I am not perfect, and I have sinned, offended and hurt others just as much as I have been hurt by others. Sin is sin. There is no level of sin. Sins that have hurt me are no bigger or smaller the sins I have committed to cause pain in others lives.
So you’ll have to take my word for it, if you are holding onto resentment, forgiveness will change everything for you! Apply praying, journaling, reading, talking to a safe person will help you forgive.
One clue to know you’ve forgiven someone, you’ll feel your lungs expand, and you’ll feel like you can breathe again, it’s the best feeling! Try it!
If you are struggling with forgiveness and you need to talk about it, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am only an email away. Contact me, and we will set up a time to talk.
You can forgive and you must. Releasing resentment will completely change your life.
I am praying for you. Praying that you can forgive others, yourself and receive forgiveness from yourself, from God and others.
Here are some resources to look into to learn more about forgiveness and what the Bible says about it…
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
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