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May 5, 2008

Food for Thought

When you forgive someone, you slice away the wrong from the person who did it. You disengage that person from his hurtful act. You recreate him. At one moment you identify him inerradicably as the person who did you wrong. The next moment you change that identity. He is remade in your memory.

You think of him now not as the person who hurt you, but as a person who needs you. You feel him now not as the person who alienated you, but as the person who belongs to you. Once you branded him as a person powerful in evil, but now you see him as a person weak in his needs. You recreated your past by recreating the person whose wrong made your past painful.

You do not change him, out there, in his being. What he did sticks to what he is. His wrong is glued to him. But when you recreate him in your own memory, there, within you, he has been altered by spiritual surgery.

God does it this way, too. He releases us from sin as a mother washes dirt from a child's face, or as a person takes a burden off your back, lays it on a goat, and sends the goat scampering into the wilderness. The Bible's metaphors point to a surgery within God's memory of what we are.

Excerpted from Forgiveness, a new downloadable resource from Gifted for Leadership.

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As a child I was extremely abused; pyhically, mentally, and sexually. My mother was aware and I was blamed. I was nine, Now both of my abusers have passed away leaving me with at one point with a lot of anger and unforgiveness. I prayed to God, how can I forgive them for what they did to me? My mother suffered from mental illness, and I began to understand her in ways I never could before. She too, was a victim. He was alot nore diffcult. Christ showed me a little boy being abused, it was him. I had problems forgiving the man, but it was easy to forgive the boy. The Lord always finds a way to help you in your trials and walk to a higher standard of forgiveness and love as a child of the Most High.

I’ve found that just like leaving room for desert after a meal - always leave room for forgiveness. It’s a daily challenge but I know it’s to my benefit and for my overall health and well being. After years of struggling with a variety of personal, family and other social issues my spirit was just exhausted. I needed to understand why this, that, and the other had happened to me. Though I had dismissed myself physically, detached emotionally, and believed I had forgiven, I yet had a numbness in my spirit that I could not shake and it was robbing me of the abundant life God promised in his word. Regardless of everything else, I needed healing and closure. Through intense prayer and faithfully searching God’s word for answers, one of the things I learned is that life is just like how it‘s written in Matthew 18:7. Offences and hurts are part of living and there’s no way around it except to respond to it God’s way and to let God deal with the offender(s).

It was only after God opened my understanding more clearly to His word, and (after dealing with my own short comings in faith), that I was finally able and willing to trust in scriptures such as Matthew 18:7 | II Timothy 2:24-26 | Titus 3:1-9. After I accepted responsibility for my own offences toward God did I truly forgive the offences of others toward me. Only then did I experience exactly what you described, including the healing, closure, and a stronger bond with God that I desperately needed. The spirit of love, compassion, and forgiveness flowed again in my spirit just like God intended. When I did it God’s way, I not only sliced away the wrong, I also reclaimed complete control and authority over my own life while destroying the emotional gateway the adversary had used to hinder God’s purpose in my life.

Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the offence - Forgiveness robs our adversary the satisfaction of our defeat.

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