Welcome to our blog.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Yes, You Really Can - Chapter 7


Kelly has given me some different thoughts on forgiveness in these last two chapters.
I've known that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.  "But forgiveness is not denying what our enemies (or loved ones) have done; it's not calling something whole that's fractured or something pure that's corroded.  Forgiveness is looking in the face of what our offenders have done, recognizing their wound for all that it is, and then choosing to forgive. It has nothing to do with denying the wrong of those who hurt us but has everything to do with changing our hearts toward them. " (page 90)

That's the beginning of peace for us, when we become willing to change our hearts, letting go and letting God restore and rebuild us in Him. It is a process and one that we often have to come back to as feelings surface. 

The artichoke analogy. I did some research and discovered this is considered a thistle plant.  If you really think about it, this is a great analogy of a heart in need of producing"forgiveness" as well as other character qualities of Christ.

Before we can even began to peel away the layers of bitterness, anger, revenge, gossip, etc.....heat must be applied....ouch!! and the paring knife (Hebs. 4:12 goes here)

There's some "fruit" or food value after the outer petals are peeled away, there at the inner petals. The real fruit and value is found after the "choke" is stripped away and the "heart" is exposed and opened.

I wanted to drive home this analogy so I went and purchased me an artichoke....
gonna set that in my windowsill and think on it for awhile.

But God commendeth His love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 KJV


kim said...

Once in my life, I can recall having a very strong, hard-hearted nature about forgiveness toward someone I had given my heart too. Unforgiveness associated with what I perceived to be a betrayal kept me in a bitter state, to the point that I became someone I didn't even know or like. The fact is, I was hurt and felt absolutely powerless against the onslaught of pain and emotions I was feeling. Of course, I tried to control every variable thereafter, but that just created more problems and it took me further away from who I was in God.

But God... Thank God for God. He heard my cry. He knew that I could not find peace, abundant life, happiness or any of those things until I forgave the person who hurt me the most. And surely you know that that meant I had to give up "my" control.

There's more, but I'll stop there.

Loving the study. Thanks!

Hugs in Him,

Lisha said...

Kelly's right on: "For if we haven't received God's forgiveness, we are weighed down by guilt and fear, and if we haven't extended it, we are assaulted by anger and the agonizing need to get even." I don't want to live in either place, guilt & fear or anger & vengence. Unforgiveness because we haven't received and unforgiveness because we haven't granted, both cause an unsettling and a lack of peace.

I was moved by Kelly's journey and God saying, "Take this as from My hand." Wow! I think it's tough to get there because we feel so hurt, angry, defeated. But in it all there can be hope: "God is gathering all the years of wrongdoing to your soul, harvesting it for an unimagineable feast He is preparing, and spreading it on a table He is setting." (pg. 101) Kelly asked it as a question, but I think we can safely turn it into a statement.

Anonymous said...

This is a test to see if my comment will post. I've been having trouble with it.

Jeanette said...

This is another test.

Jeanette said...

Yes! I'm on again! Kelly writes on pg. 101 - "I had a firm sense that all this suffering wasn't random." That really registered with me. We don't like hearing about the suffering concept but our human condition lives it all the time. That verse in Romans 8:28 has been such a comfort to me during those times. God IS able to make ALL suffering work together for our good. I CAN give all my questions and and etc. to Him knowing that there is a redemptive factor inherent in suffering. That is a process, however that takes time and God's grace.

diana cummins said...

I use to keep track of wrongs with this person in my past and I learned I kept myself enslaved to that person. The anger turned into hate. I was raised not to hate. I thought I had the right to feel that way after being wronged for so long. I started reading the bible with some christian friends and finally learned I was hurting myself from not having forgivness and my children by showing them to hate. So one day after I had felt the hate, anger, biterness. I was praying and I heard the Holy Spirit say pray for that person and the relationship so I did and then is when I realized I was teaching my children to hate so I forgave and quit keeping track of wrongs and immediatly my children quit having the bitterness that they were having towards that person. Praise be to God! It freed me

Patti said...

I was faced with a situation that happened to us over 20 years ago. As I thought about it, I had to search my heart and know that I had forgiven. Yes, there is still some hurt there, but I no longer own the offense. Sometimes I think we get the opportunity to "test our hearts" and when we see that He has been our strength how blessed we are.
All of your comments have really spoke to me in this chapter as well as others.