"Thank God you blew it. I thank God I dodged a bullet." -Beyonce
If I know my ex, he has googled me and is reading this article right about...now. Girl. The other day I ran into an ex while grocery shopping. This was an ex I had a terrible fall out with and simply refused to forgive, so I cut him off like I do most people who crossed my invisible lines.
As I tried to avoid him, he spotted me walking into the supermarket and followed me to my car. As he approached me, I greeted him with my best plastic smile and in true Satta fashion said: “I see you still spotted me even though I strategically tried to avoid you. How are you?” Yes, I was that honest. With a smile.
Nonetheless, I was able to engage in an exchange before he, like his usual creeper self, asked for my contact information. I should also say that he was wearing a nursery band, the kind people wear when their partner has just given birth. “Absolutely not”, I said…with a big Sunday school smile. He then asked if he could visit me at my job.
I noticed I was able to say no without malice in my heart and was genuinely happy to see him well. I guess over the years, God had melted the grudge I held against and while I would never, ever, ever have anything to do with him again, I sincerely wished him well.
As a child of God who desires to rightly represent him, I am learning I must become a supersonic forgiver. Like, “the greatest [forgiver] of all time”, as Kanye would say. Anyhow,
Here are some lessons on forgiveness I’d like to pass on:
1. Learn to forgive quickly without the crippling effects of a grudge.
Always make room in your heart for forgiveness. God can heal our hearts by giving us the grace to forgive when we pray for those who hurt us and surrender them to the Lord.
2. Understand that you too need forgiveness.
We are all learning from our actions and thinking about how to become better people. As such, there are times in our lives we have needed to ask for forgiveness, and there will undoubtedly be more instances in the future. Forgiveness is a gift Christ bought for us on the cross, and we should seek to give it as freely as we have received it.
3. Even though you feel deeply wounded, know the only way to repair your heart is to forgive.
Removing unhealthy emotions from your heart and life is essential to your future and progress. If not, it becomes a distraction and encumbrance to future blessings, and can even cost you greater blessings. When I think of some of the greatest forgivers in the bible, Joseph always comes to mind. His brothers literally sold him into slavery…slavery.
Years later, they would go to him for help, and it would be one of the most significant tests of his faith; to not only forgive his brothers but to be a blessing to them in the process. His forgiveness ultimately demonstrated his faith in Christ. Lordt. I need that Joseph anointing in my life.
4. Understand that offenses will come.
The bible teaches us that offenses MUST come. Not if, not maybe, but surely. We must learn to let them roll. When we decide to carry pain by not forgiving, we are placing an enormous burden on our own shoulders. Even if we want to live a great life, the weight of this burden slows us down.
5. Laying down your right to offense doesn’t make you weak.
Choosing to forgive means living a life that feels light and free. Don’t deny yourself a wonderful life because you want to prove a point. It’s a blessing blocker and can lead to worse outcomes for you. No matter how angry you are, you don’t have the right to hold another child of God hostage. After all, you have been forgiven of much.
Without forgiveness, it’ll be challenging to develop a compassionate heart. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to live a liberated life where I am free to love and help those who need it. That being said, I have some questions for you:
1. Have you experienced the grace of forgiveness?
2. Do you carry the burden of a grudge upon your back?
3. How can you lay aside your anger and walk with renewed vigor toward your life purpose?
Don’t let anything hold you back this year!
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