LSOF: Forgiveness

As I closed my eyes to sleep last night, I had a thought go through my heart.
It was as if I was laying on the ocean shore, and a gentle wave washed over me.
My heart was being told in God’s sweet, still small voice…
” You must forgive..”

I’m not one to be all to excited when God pushes me to write on things that go beyond
what I really am feeling at the present moment.
But I can tell you this…

I woke up with the same thought on my heart.
And it was as if the thought lived with me all through the night,
God was making it clear…YOU NEED TO DO THIS.
He wouldn’t let it go.
So I knew I couldn’t.

Now to you, maybe forgiving is an easy thing to do. I’m going to guess though, like me,
it doesn’t come so easy.

It might be easier to “forget” the situation, the “forgive” the circumstances within it all.

Forgetting is not the same as Forgiving.

How many times have you heard someone say to you, ” Oh just forget about it.”
That’s basically just saying to you, ” It’s not that important, get over it.”

But let me tell you something that strongly has been brought to my heart when it comes to forgiving and forgetting…
True forgiveness does not come from just letting that person, ” off the hook”…we may feel it for a certain amount of time, but I can almost promise you somewhere down the line…you are going to remember the situation, and feel that unforgiveness rage inside of you…so much so…
that you not only don’t forgive the situation that happened with that person, but it becomes a domino effect and you end up burning so many bridges…without intention.

So this would be what happens when someone says to you, ” Forgive and forget.”
More than likely, most times, we forget, before we forgive.
Not the way to go.

I don’t think any of us really can get the concept of what it is to forgive.
And I’m writing this, because I didn’t know….until now.
And this knowledge did not come from books.
I searched my own heart.

Forgiveness in my own words is to look beyond the faults of another person,
and beauty beyond it all. Beyond the anger they might have shown you, beyond the pain
they might have caused you, beyond the control they might have put on you, beyond the manipulation,
beyond the inferiority they caused you to feel, beyond anything and anything…
Whatever it was…

You see the person instead. You see them for who they ARE.
You know in their mind they might believe they are right, that they have just caused
to treat you, or say things to you that they do…
but I think I remember very well what Jesus said when He was on the cross
and people thought they had just cause to put Him there…

” Forgive them Father, they know not of what they do.”

Forgive and forgetting is something recommended actually from a health website.

This is straight from the website:
” Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love — a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you’ll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive. ” – Tom Valeo, via

Time heals pain, this is true. However, at some point (sooner then later), in that time…
we all need to look back on the situation with someone, and tell ourselves that we have to forgive.

I know there are some out there that feel like its too late, that the person has either passed or is no longer apart of your life…but its NOT too late.

It will be HARD, but I believe that our all powerful God can see it bubbling inside of you even now…
He can see your heart saying, ” If only…”
and He is going to tell you to stop regretting the past, stop wondering of how you wished things were different, and just think of that person in that situation you have been in life…
And say, ” I forgive you for…” and maybe you can’t get yourself to say, the ” Forgive you for” part,
if you can’t, its okay to just say, ” _____ , I forgive you.
Leave it at that. God knows your heart, He knows there are words you can’t get yourself to speak.

When we are hurting…we don’t want to forgive.
Plain and simple.
Believe me, I get this—
We need to get out of that frame of mind,
and work on it each day…

And like in my case, because I know that my heart is at stake and everything that I am, and what I truly believe in my character…I choose forgiveness.
I am created to be an example of Jesus, and He forgave.

And maybe like you, those who I want to say, ” I forgive you,” to…I can’t.
They are not apart of my life now…but God knows that I did.
And that’s what matters.

We need to focus on praying for good for others too…and forgiveness
helps us to pray for blessings for their lives.

We need to again realize, forgetting and not forgiving…it leaves an unintentional thorn in your side.
You will REMEMBER, and when you do…you won’t think lovingly of that person.
And its not fair to them or to you.

And all that is planned for all of you.

Forgive and don’t forget; instead- remember by how it’s shaped your life, and who God will raise u up to be through it!

I’ve probably gone on and on about this.

But I want to tell you something.

I have peace since I forgave those in my life who hurt me. They will never know it.
But it doesn’t matter.
My heart is right with God, because it is HE who needs me to forgive.
The others in my life, it wouldn’t matter….and that’s okay.

Forgiveness matters to God.
Because He doesn’t want us to have any stumbling block in the path

And “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…”
and it starts by knowing we have no place with God,
if we have no place to forgive.

If you choose life.
Then choose forgiveness too!

(Colossians 3:12-14)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Philosophical Thoughts

I am in Philosophy class, and I thought I would share the discussion question, and my response. Perhaps you could think how you would answer it as well…and comment if you like:)

Chapter 2 continued.

Discussion: Are you the same person that you were 5, 10, 20 years ago. If not, and everyone becomes a new person over time/circumstances, how do we (should we) maintain continuity of self-identity/personal responsibility over time? (eg;Why shouldn’t a convicted criminal be able to claim that they are a ‘different person’ than when they committed the crime?) If we ARE the same person over time, then isn’t the opposite true ? How/why should we ever be forgiven–or forgive ourselves–for past transgressions?

– I believe that I am not exactly the same person I was 5, 10, 20 years ago. I believe that perhaps there are some parts of me that have remained the same, such as passion towards things I love in life: writing, reading, sharing my heart with others, and showing others value in who they are;

I think that there are things about me that have changed as well through as you said, in a way, rites of passage. 20 yrs ago I was 8 yrs old, I had seen family issues arise heavily, and my mothers illness affected me greatly. It was hard to concentrate in school, and be social.

10 years ago- I was 18, I was the average teenager, with emotional issues, which I could only find as an outlet in my writing…I started to attend church again, and then my life started to take a turn for the better; I learned a positive perspective in years of chaos.

5 years ago- I was 23, and from that point to now, what has changed is the growth in myself; though I have been through a great deal of hardship in my life, at 23 I wasn’t ready to accept the past as I do now. I think somewhere around 25 we are forced to confront our past.

I accept and do not regret the past at all, it was what it was, and today is what it is.

I think to maintain and personal identity for ourselves is to keep focused on the things that are important in our lives, the things that help us get up in the morning.

I once wrote 25 things on a piece of paper I wanted to accomplish, and then I told myself, to just attempt to accomplish one, would be more than not trying to accomplish any of it at all…and that is how I have lived my life since, you do what you can, with what you have, when you can, regardless of what others think; living by your heart, and keeping your head up; will keep you away from the negative thoughts of this world.

I believe when it comes to a convicted criminal, if they say they have changed, I would say that it is possible. Being confined and being forced to face yourself is much harder to deal with then the actual crime committed, I would think.

I always think in the people who have done wrong to me in life; they have their own set of issues that they aren’t dealing with, and the more they do wrong to others and avoid looking at their own mistakes the worse it will be when they finally look in the mirror.

The final question about forgiving ourselves. Forgiveness is letting something go, either about ourselves or others in order to lead a healthy life and not hold a grudge about what we didn’t do, or should have done, or should have said.

” Life is not a promise, but a chance.” – Rachel Scott

We have to live life knowing that it will come to an end someday, and we need to be people that after leaving the earth others that are still here can remember us, and appreciate us for taking life on, in every circumstance.

Those who were our enemies, if we treated them fairly even after they had done something, or we had done something to someone, and just let it brush off our shoulders that it is best to move on…then that is exactly what mindset we will have.

But nothing happens overnight.