I’ve been walking towards health and wholeness for a few months now, learning to truly take care of myself as well as go inward to my emotional health which I’ve neglected over the years. If someone asked me about forgiveness, I would have said I forgive easily! After all, I am a freaking Bible teacher! Forgiveness is my bread and butter. Oh, how easily we deceive ourselves.
A wise woman confronted me with my own hatred, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. I sat stunned, weighing the truth of this revelation. I knew in my gut she was right. In that moment, I felt loved. I knew the Lord was speaking through her directly to my heart. I’ve prayed the Lord would show me any blind spots. Boy, does He answer.
I learned two things through this encounter. I sat with the Lord and listed the offenses/wounds I’ve held onto; I felt the Lord’s deep compassion. Facing the hurt head on is imperative, rather than offering a blanket forgiveness. The most powerful thing I felt was understanding from Him. The Lord didn’t minimize the hurt, He acknowledged the pain. Silence ensued. I waited quietly. I knew He was waiting as well. You see, in God’s Kingdom, forgiveness is commanded, expected, required. It’s a standard the Lord upholds. If I am truly a Christ-follower, I must forgive. It’s one of the most loving expectations I’ve ever encountered. He actually believes I can do this.
The other thing I learned (again) is that forgiveness is truly caring for myself. It is the ultimate in self-love. When confronted, I knew the huge block of unforgiveness inhibited me from receiving love. Unforgiveness disables us from truly loving ourselves and obviously, others. Forgiveness is a process. I’m so grateful the Lord is with me in the process. Forgiveness is freedom; freedom to acknowledge pain, freedom to let go of the pain.