40 Days of Prayer: Day 20
"What is forgiveness?"
According to dictionary.com it is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
According to the Bible it is releasing or dismissing something. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we have access to forgiveness from God. He releases or dismisses all of the charges against us, releases us from the just penalty that we should have gotten by God.
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Amplified Bible translates the last phrase like this: “the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty].
Ephesians 4:32 (NASB Strong's) 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
There are those who view forgiveness as a weakness, or even letting someone who doesn’t deserve to, win. However, forgiveness has nothing to do with weakness or emotions. Forgiveness is a choice an, act of will and is given to a person even if they do not deserve it. God set the example, forgiveness is a deliberate act of love, mercy and grace. It truly is a decision that we make, stating we will not hold something against somebody, no matter what they have done to you. This is hard to do without the Holy Spirit.
But let me throw something else in the mix. God has forgiven you, and maybe you have forgiven others, but, have you forgiven yourself?
If we are to pray effectively, we must humble our selves in such a way that we can… forgive ourselves. I am my worse critic. When I owned my own business, I learned custom woodworking and cabinetry. I had a chance to work on some pretty amazing projects. But I would always see where I didn't get the cross landmarks out or if a mitered joint was not perfect. I would always come down on myself, for missing it. No one else could see it… But I did. That seems trivial. What about the time I was following my dads footsteps, becoming an alcoholic and and leaving my wife and 5 year old son? By the grace of God I came to the end of myself, surrendered my life to God and reconciled my marriage. God forgave me… Pam forgave me. But I had to forgive myself as well. That was a hard one. Remembering how awful of a human being I was and the stupid mistakes I made haunted my thought life.
Forgiving your self isn’t specifically in the Bible. But the principles of forgiveness are. When God forgives us He doesn’t remember our sins. It doesn’t mean that God, the all knowing and all powerful forgets, he forgives and doesn’t bring our sin up in a negative way.
Acts 10:34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
Not one to show partiality, He forgives those who seek Him and ask for it. He forgives everyone who believe in Jesus. So here is the reality, we can and should apply the “no partiality” standard to ourselves, it is just as important to forgive ourselves as it is to forgive others. Forgiving yourself is not forgetting about what was done, but allowing the enemy to use it in a negative way. Letting go of what you are holding against yourself so you can grow in your relationship with God. Once we ask for forgiveness, God moves on, shouldn’t we?
Philippians 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
We are to put into practice the things we have learned in Gods word.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Unforgiveness if left unchecked brews anger, hatred, and resentment towards yourself will wipe you out. Every minute we waste on the negative, robs us of time that we should be spending with God, learning and growing, becoming the man or woman of god that He wants us to be. Our journey through life if full of daily life choices, that will either take us n a positive or negative direction. If we forgive ourselves, it does not let us off the hook or justify what we have done, nor is it a sign of weakness. It is a courageous choice that requires courage and strength, this gives us an opportunity to become a victorious overcomes, instead of wallowing in our own scorn.
If we cannot forgive our selves its showing how prideful we are. Thinking we are the ones in control. Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” So, if you cannot forgive yourself it will bring self destruction. A Haughty spirit-will bring a fall. Christian forgiveness will bring peace. If you can forgive yourself, it will be a testimony to those who are around you. Unforgiveness puts you on edge, eventually you will blow, and consequently hurt those closest to you. The harsh reality is that you can’t change what has happened. You can’t restore the lives that were damaged by what ever happened. But, you can start the healing process by forgiving yourself. If you can forgive yourself, it will change the direction of your life.
I encourage you to spend some time in prayer and meditation on Gods word… ask for forgiveness and ask God to help you forgive yourself.
This is a prayer taken from allaboutgod.com … maybe use it as a template…
Dear Heavenly Father, I understand that there is nothing to gain by holding myself in unforgiveness and there is everything to gain by releasing myself from unforgiveness and beginning the process of healing. I want to move forward and make a positive difference in the future. I confess the ungodly accountability, self-abasement, and the vows I have made to never forgive myself. Because Jesus died for my sins, I choose to forgive myself--to no longer punish myself and be angry with myself. I forgive myself for letting this hurt control me and for hurting others out of my hurt. I repent of this behavior and my attitude. I ask for Your forgiveness and healing. God, help me to NEVER again retain unforgiveness of myself or others. Thank you for loving me and for Your grace to move forward with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Praying for you all!
Much love and blessings,