So let’s talk about forgiveness.   I know, I know….I hate it as much as everyone else does.  Because harboring a grudge, praying that someone gets the fever and dies is so much more fulfilling and rewarding right?  Letting your hatred and hurt fester inside until one day it explodes really does wonders for your heart right?   You’d rather stab yourself in the eyes with dull pencils than to forgive them of what they have done to you right?  Because we all know if we forgive someone, we are just asking for more trouble from them.  They are just going to screw us over yet again right?

I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn't sorry and accept an apology I never received.

Trust me when I say that I have several people that I would love to just hate for the rest of my life.  I know that sounds horrible but I”m human and I do have human emotions time to time.  I have been wronged so much and in so many ways.  I have been made fun of by close family members after I gained my weight when I got the insulin resistance.  I have been made fun of by close family members over my face not working after the Bell’s Palsy and paralysis.  Unspeakable things have been said about me and my children by close friends and family.   And I have let these things boil to the point of sincerely thinking about losing any religion I had and just telling them all what for and to go straight to hell.  Again, I know….not right…but it’s a real emotion.   Because let me tell you some of these people I have been pretty certain the things they do and say, that Jesus would hold my purse while I kicked their asses.  (OMG, yes I know…a not so nice word.)

Let me say this, if you can go through life and never let anyone upset or hurt you, then kudos to you and please teach the rest of us.   Over the years, I have had to learn three things: How to control my temper (yes this is possible), that forgiving someone isn’t necessarily for them, but for me, sometimes I have to forgive myself first. So here’s some tidbits for you to chew on about harboring harsh feelings.  YOU being that mad, YOU being that scorned, YOU holding that grudge;  it’s not hurting them.  It’s hurting YOU.  God does not command us to feel this way.   Why?  Because it’s not healthy for us.  Anger, hate and praying that they get the fever and die eventually starts taking a toll on your body, your mind, your emotions, your family, your friends….need I go on?   So how do you forgive people.

You have to let it go.  I  know that’s a sucky answer for some of you, but you have to find a way to let it go!  This isn’t your battle.  Give it to God.  If these people are truly in the wrong and did something bad, then let  God take care of it.  I promise you, what He might have in store for them may be a more valuable lesson to them than what you have planned.  He is so not afraid to get His hands dirty on your behalf!

Some people are just inconsiderate.  They are rude.  They are jerks.  They are selfish.  And let’s just face it.  There’s not much you can do about it.  Oh but I can…I can hate them all!  Well guess what.  You can be these things sometimes too:  rude, hateful, a jerk.  We are human.   Think about that.  When you’re bottling up that grudge, you’re thinking about hateful things you can do to get your revenge.  Don’t even lie and say you’re not.  You so want to be part of the “screw you too crew” and retaliate.  I get it.  I’ve been there and been there very recently.

But if I forgive them, they’ll just continue to do it to me.  Nope, they won’t.  I know this won’t apply to every situation out there but before you start sending me scolding emails, it is possible for most situations.  How?  Just don’t go around them anymore if you don’t absolutely have to.  Just because you forgive someone of something doesn’t mean you have to still be their friend.  Forgiveness is NOT giving the person permission to continue their behavior or condoning what they did or continue to do.  Forgiveness is NOT pretending it never happened.  Yes, God commands us to forgive and forget.  Which means, forgive them and then don’t think about it anymore.  But like I said earlier, we are human and it’s going to be our nature to occasionally still drudge up stuff. If you have a “moment”, think of something else to make it go away.  Seek God in those moments instead.  Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation.  You have to make a decision if you want to continue to be friends with the people who have hurt you.  But you don’t have to be!!  If someone’s behavior hurts you and keeps you from being happy and even being a light for God, stay away from them. You don't keep laying your hand on a hot stove once you get burned once. Same principle applies here.

But most importantly, don’t even think forgiveness is a weakness.  It’s NOT.  It’s a character of strength.   Apologizing to someone is a hard lesson.  Forgiving someone is a harder lesson.  Hard lessons make us stronger.  These are teaching moments preparing for us for future incidents that may come our way. When we forgive others, God forgives us.  But if we do not forgive, He won’t forgive us.  (Matthew 6:14-15)  This is so hard at first.  But the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Most of all when you are forgiving these people, especially the ones who seem to have evil oozing from their pores and you are at the breaking point of loathing their existence, pray for them.  Forgive them for your heart’s sake…pray for them for their heart’s sake.  There are going to be some that you will never receive an apology from. And you will never know how strong you are until you learn how to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry, and accept an apology you never received.

So a task for this week:  forgive someone.  Truly forgive them and let it go.  Maybe that person is yourself.   Want extra credit?  Forgive yourself and maybe a couple of other people!  It’s going to do your heart good.

I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn't sorry and accept an apology I never received.

Forgiving them is not for them, it's for you.

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