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Five Keys to Forgiveness
I’m here to tell you that you need to let it go. Forgiveness is key.
Maybe your fears are right–maybe you’re not good or strong enough to forgive. But God is. Instead of indulging in your fears and hesitation any longer, choose reconciliation over despair, forgiveness over hatred, and freedom over bitterness. Jesus stands there waiting to help you take that first step of faith over the past.
Let Him help you take away your number-one fear. Because, believe it or not, you can forgive!
Here are 5 keys to help you process through any unforgiveness in your life.
1. Forgiveness is personal.
It can feel like you’re ripping your own heart out of your chest. Even the thought of it can make you anxious–and if you’re anything like me, anxiety is your spiritual barometer. It makes you ask questions…questions like, “Are you living the way you should? “Can you stop blaming others even if it’s not your fault?” “Are you doing to others as you would wish them to do to you? Are you really?”
2. Forgiveness is not the end of your story.
But, you might be asking how? I don’t know your story, and neither have I walked a mile in your shoes. But we do have another example to learn from. What I appreciate most about the life of Job is that he wasn’t afraid to duke it out God and his friends who claimed he was guilty.
“These men–Job’s friends–had offered correct statements about God (yes, sometimes God does allow us to suffer as a result of our straying from His law), but none of them led Job to a place of repentance or a greater acknowledgement of God” (63).
Whoa. Just whoa.
I can’t take credit for this thought, actually. My husband Marc is the one who pointed out this little tidbit. We can be correct about God in our thoughts, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t in danger of His anger.
Yes, God can handle our anger.
No, forgiveness is not the end–a greater knowledge of God is.
Forgiveness stems from the all consuming, loving, and unending power of Jesus Christ. He forgave us for all time. Once and for all, He took our past, present, and future. Technically speaking, Jesus didn’t mean we are to forgive seventy times seven times–or 490 times. God doesn’t want us to keep track how many times others sin against us. Rather the numbers prove that forgiveness counts. Once God forgives, the slate is wiped clean. He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).
4. Forgiveness is like a symphony.
In music composers put rests between the notes. The rests are periods of silence that give the music rhythm and meter and prevent it from being a jumble of sounds. When we take the time to pause and make a confession, our life suddenly starts to make sense again. How can you discern God’s voice if you don’t stop and take the time to listen? How will you ever forgive if you don’t take the first step of stopping to recognize your own brokenness? I love how forgiveness allows the Christian to take time to pause, pray, and confess.
5. In God’s Kingdom, forgiveness reigns.
We don’t like to view God as someone who lets bad things happen to good people. Our society simply has no tolerance for suffering. God is here to show you in mighty, mighty ways that there is room for repentance. In God’s Kingdom, forgiveness reigns so why not extend the gift of forgiveness today?
Adapted from “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me.” © 2013 Harvest House Publishers. If you would like to know more about how to forgive others including yourself, please feel free to check out Renee Fisher’s new book on Amazon that released on August 1st.
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Rock Star. Learn more about Renee at www.devotionaldiva.com and www.forgivingme.com.