The past few weeks I have joined a group of delightful ladies in a study written by Lisa Harper. The study itself was life-changing, but what resonated the most in my spirit was her tone and demeanor of grace as she shared some really painful and challenging stories.
With all the conversation that whirls around every metaphorical water cooler these days, rarely is revelation or resolution taken home personally, as actual root issues resist coming to light to permeate our own consciousness.
Unforgiveness is a relational, and extremely contagious, cancer.
Cloaking ourselves in bitterness and waving blame like a banner over the people around us fosters negativity, suffocates authentic relationship (with everyone!), and gives roots to darkness in all the spaces.
Oddly enough, multiple people have made reference to me recently, the belief that our pain is of no concern to our offenders, and that choosing not to forgive only hurts us. In some cases, this is true. As much as we love to justify holding on to our own pain and grief, however, very few people are intentionally hurtful and in those rare instances, infliction is a gift that redirects our loyalties to those more worthwhile.
More often than not, though, those who have not met our expectations, or who have unwittingly injured us, bear the weight of affliction as well. When we choose to hold another person in debt to us, we stifle personal growth and perpetuate a cesspool of septic negativity, resulting in myriad struggles not only interpersonally, but truly around everyone we touch.
Most notably, within.
I think sometimes when we read the bible and the mandate to forgive, we can perceive it as weakness; a command to sit down and let others steamroll our lives and emotions. We buck at the goads, if you will. And yet if we trust who God says He is, we can walk in the complete truth that an integral part of our spiritual journey is tied directly to our trusted obedience to walk in forgiveness.
Freedom begets freedom.
At the end of the day, the truth is that we are free to do things God’s way or ours. Life is a series of choices with limited outcomes – what we sow will always bring predictable fruit, regardless of our own self-justification. Challenging as it can sometimes seem, the door to restoration and authenticity opens up when we walk in obedience to biblical truths.
Would you step into your healing today?
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:20-22
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” – Mark 11:26