Letting Go

There’s something that often strikes me when I hear remarkable stories about people who overcome tragic abuses, losses, and injustices and go on to live lives full of joyful and dynamic impact. How do they DO that, I wonder?

It’s a sharp contrast to others I encounter who DON’T have that same peace and joy and freedom—who live life scarred and beaten down, bitter, and full of self-pity.  What makes the difference?

I think it’s the freedom of forgiveness.

I put a little post on my FB page the other day about unforgiveness vs. forgiveness and—oh my goodness!—it was my most commented post ever!  I think it’s because the tension between the two is so common to the human experience.

The desire NOT to forgive, to hang on to offenses, is a temptation for all of us.  So why don’t we ‘fess up, admit it, and talk about it more?

Jesus did.  He said we’re supposed to forgive those who hurt and offend us even up to “seventy times seven.” That’s a pretty radical suggestion! It’s way beyond our humanness sometimes.

That’s why I think much of the work necessary to truly forgive happens first through prayer. Prayer is a way I can interact personally with the Father’s heart—a heart that is full of infinite forgiveness and unconditional mercy and love (unlike my own).

That’s not religion.  That’s relationship. When I connect with Him, by faith and through prayer, those qualities can become mine. He gives me the desire and power to forgive, and the strength I need to do so. That’s the only way I can fulfill Jesus’ radical commandment to forgive seventy times seven.

I’m speaking from experience here, not just theory. I’ve had to forgive hurts and injustices just like anyone else. Big ones and little ones.  It’s a day-to-day exercise, isn’t it?

One of the biggest forgiveness tests for me came once when I had to go back into the very environment where I had been been wounded and subjected to a significant injustice.  Could I do it? It was hard to think of coming face to face with my offenders. But having forgiven them first in my heart, through prayer and in concert with my Father’s heart, I was ready to do it with my actions.

It was one of the most healing things I’ve ever done.

When we forgive, WE’RE the ones who are set free. It’s not so much about letting the other person “off the hook.” WE are the ones released from the prison of unforgiveness.  That was certainly my experience! And I hope it’s yours, too.

 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Colossians 3:13

 

Is there a person, an offense, or an injustice you want to forgive, but are having trouble with it?

Can I suggest doing it WITH GOD FIRST, in your heart, through prayer?

THEN put it into practice with your thoughts, words, and actions.

Was it any easier?

I’d love to hear your forgiveness stories!

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. My forgiveness story, to make it short, was a tough road. I think it was the toughest road I’ve ever traveled. It had to do with words spoken against my character, and the character of my husband that were completely untrue. It was 100% painful, but I had to verbally bless the people first through prayer, like you recommend, then later in person. To be honest, at first, I didn’t feel like blessing them, I wanted to get revenge, but I knew that I would be in bondage to unforgiveness if I didn’t. -So that was my motivation to get me started on the path of unforgiveness. Now 2 years later, the memory is still there, but so is forgiveness instead of unforgiveness. Praise God for his freedom!

    I’ve nominated you for the “Tell Me About Yourself” Blog Award over at http://theraven-hairedgirl.blogspot.com/. Congratulations!

    • every relationship whtiin my family life there has been a time I have had to work through horrible things that have been done to me or said to me. I have learned through Christ and by neccessity forgiveness is the only way you can heal and move forward in your life. It does’nt even matter if the other person knows you forgive them it does’nt matter if they care that you forgive them, but to your well being and your mental and spiritual life it means everything. I don’t know how God does it but if you really want to forgive someone and go one with your life God can and will do that with you. Not for you but with you!!

    • You are correct that ‘letting go’ is not easy, in fact it is the most dlicffuit, yet necessary thing to do when you have been ‘offended’. It is the only way to life a life free of emotional bondage.I have been ‘offended’ in ways that I am most certain that you could never imagine, and I was determined for many years not to ‘let go'(forgive). I wanted to punish my ‘offenders’ and was afraid that my forgiveness would condone their vile acts.I have learned, through much suffering, that the only way to move forward was to ‘let go’ of the emotional ties that were keeping me from living my life to its happiest potential. I have never condoned, nor will I ever forget these vile acts, but they do not have power over me anymore.’Letting go’ is the ONLY way:)P.S. I did not learn this through any religion that I studied, but through the help of some very wise, and loving people that are in my life:)

  2. Some more thoughts that I nedeed to share The act of ‘letting go’ or ‘forgiving’ does NOT mean that you have to continue a relationship with that person (or people) nor does it mean that you have to tell them to their face. You simply need to do it for yourself, releasing yourself of the negative, painful emotions.I also truly believe that everything we experience, especially a bad experience, leaves us at the cross road of choice do you continue to hold onto the negative emotion or do you ‘let go’ and overcome it and allow the experience to make you a better, stronger person?

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