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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Perfect Storm - Chapter 6

Forgiveness can be tough. I've experienced the struggle to forgive in my own life. What I discovered was that I had to walk in forgiveness even though the emotion of forgiveness was not there. As I was relating to the offender, and I felt the rise of bitterness or anger over what they had done swell up in me, I literally said to myself, "No, I choose to forgive. I am not going to hold onto this anger." It took a long time of living it out, but eventually my emotions followed suit, and I felt forgiveness toward them.

Question 2, Complete this sentence: "If I let go of the demand that this person pay for what they did, then______." This reminded me of something I heard a speaker at a retreat say. Some would say, "If I forgive this person, then isn't that letting them off the hook?" The speaker's response was, "When we forgive, we let the person off of our hook and put them on God's hook."

Wow! Think about that! I think God can do a far better job of holding someone to account for their offense than I can. And if I keep them on my hook, then I have to drag them around everywhere. It doesn't bother them if I tote them all over the place. They are perfectly content to go along for the ride, but then I bear the weight of their offense. That is bondage my friend, and Christ has paid too big of a price for use to live in bondage. So, the challenge for us this week is to take the offenders in our lives off of our hooks and put them on God's.

Letting everyone off the hook will help to empty your heart of resentment and teach you what it is to grow up in Jesus.        - Patsy Clairmont


Lisha said...

Question 5: Does forgiveness mean trusting the other person to get close to you again? Explain.

Not always. Proverbs 4:23 says, 'Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of live." Sometimes after we've forgiven someone, we may need to set some healthy boundaries around our heart so that we don't open ourselves up to getting hurt again. We have to use discernment and have wisdom about when we allow someone close to us or when we step back and keep a healthy distance.

Patti said...

Forgiveness. This is a mountain that I seem to have to climb over and over again in my life. I just don't want to have to climb it for the same reason or same purpose or same offense.

It is interesting to me that this chapter comes up this week, a week when twice I've been approached to participate in an event that brings up a very painful time from our past, 25 years ago actually, to the month. I've really been mulling it over in my mind and heart. I'm finding the hurt that is still there is reserved for the hurt done to my husband. I find I can forgive offenses and hurts done to me but I struggle when that offense was done to my loved ones. I know we are not to take up an offense for someone. Today I pray that this too the Lord will give me grace to let go of and allow Him to heal.

katrina said...

I agree with you Lisha regarding your answer to #5. I recently attempted reconciliation with an old friend that really hurt me years ago. It didn't go as well as I had hoped, but my heart has more peace regarding our relationship after the attempt. And I will definitely guard my heart from getting hurt like that again by her.

So my answer to question 5...no, forgiveness doesn't have to mean trusting the other person to get close to you again, it does however, allow for love to be in my heart for that person I've had a hard time loving and allows for a peacefulness in my heart regarding our relationship.