Forgiveness is a huge part of being an obediant servant to our Lord.
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1
I had known for some time that things were not right in my marriage. I was, from what other people said, the perfect wife. I stayed home and took care of our kids. I did everything I could do around the house so that when my husband came home from work he didn’t have to do a thing but spend time with me and our kids. That is what I wanted to accomplish, unfortunately, I did not get the results I wanted.
As I said, friends looking from the outside in thought our marriage was perfect. Remembering that time I recall how much of a failure I felt I was. I knew things were far from perfect. I felt like a fraud living in a marriage that was little more than a casual relationship.
Obeying God-Forgiving Others
When a marriage ends it’s not just the union between two people that ends. It’s the end of an era. The end of an idea. The end of a dream. It’s the end of ever being able to trust with your whole heart.
We know Jesus tells us to forgive, just as He forgave our sins by taking them to the cross. Forgiving gives us the freedom to move forward in His love. You know biblically God wants you to forgive that person so you can move forward, turn the other cheek, as scripture says. But when your heart is bleeding, when it’s shattered by pain caused by a loved one, you find yourself wondering how to do that.
How do you forgive betrayal? The type of forgiveness that is God-given when you feel so broken inside? The only forgiveness that will truly set you free.
Praying to Forgive
Today I want to talk about a time in my life when the one person I trusted destroyed that gift of trust I gave with a willing heart. When you are in a relationship and an event unfolds and shatters a belief you have had in place all your life. Feeling broken and betrayed, you wonder how you will recover.
I am not talking about saying the words and hoping they stick. I am talking about the kind of forgiveness that you give even when you don’t want to. Even when you don’t think you have it in you. You want freedom from that pain the betrayal caused but truthfully, sometimes it feels easier to hold onto the anger and hurt than to let go of it and forgive.
You have to look at your heart, put it into prayer to help align your thoughts with Jesus’s. I had such anger and hurt, I was so disillusioned by the one man I thought I could trust. How do you bundle that up and throw it away and just say I forgive you, AND mean it? How do you put the action behind the words? I so wanted to do as Jesus said, “forgive others as I have forgiven you” but struggled for years with how to do that.
Praying to Obey
I was the one that was determined to forgive because I knew it was a command I needed to follow. One day I would pray and give all my anger and hurt to Jesus and ask that He take it from me. Deliver me from the feelings that kept me locked in a box that had no key.
For years I would think I had forgiven the act and moved forward, to only have an interaction that would dredge up all the old feelings from the past. Once again I would be swamped with anger that wanted to choke me. I would walk in the darkness of depression as I wondered what was so wrong with me. What did I do to cause this?
I would agonize all over again on how to truly forgive and be able to move forward. Many times I found myself praying to God for the discipline to obey a command I desperately wanted to follow. As I studied and prayed over time, I realized for me, there are 3 reasons I must forgive.
It is a Command
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matthew 6:14-15
I am also a firm believer that forgiving shows how we are being obedient to our Lord. We know being obedient will bring us a fulfillment in Jesus that will ease our soul.
Jesus Forgave Us
How many times have you asked Jesus to forgive a sin you have committed? For myself, I can’t fathom how high that number would be. How can we expect our perfect God to forgive us if we can not do what he asks of us? Forgive others as we have been forgiven.
And forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12
Unforgiveness Keeps Us locked in the Prison of our Past
If we hold onto the anger and hurt others have caused, we will be stuck in a prison, unable to move into the role God has set aside just for us. Holding onto the ugliness of sin holds us back from receiving the blessings that the Lord wants to give us.
My pastor once said if our hands are holding onto the pain of sin, refusing to let it go, our hands will not be open to receive the blessings he wants to shower down on us. I also think that if we hold on to the anger and pain, we will forever be looking at the past. My friends, I pray now that your eyes have turned from the past, that you are now seeking out the future you are meant to have in Jesus’s company.
It took me years before I realized I could let go of what had been done. Years of praying, years of running the same cycle in my head. Let it go, pull it back, ask God to help me forgive, forgive, pull it back and start all over again. Yes, that was me, for so long, I am kinda embarrassed about it.
My Road to Freedom
That being said, I know you are wondering what I did do to break the chains of holding onto something God had already forgiven. There is no mystery around it, all I did was grab on to Jesus and didn’t let go. There were times I felt I was on my way, that I had put that sin in my past. There were days I pulled it right out again and relived all the pain and hurt as if it were new.
The one thing that was constant for me was my desire to let it go. I honestly did not want to hang on to the feelings that I had failed, that I had been let down and hurt. Any time the feelings of grief overwhelmed me I would ask Jesus to take them from me. To show me how to blindly forgive. Forgive, so that I would never take it back again. It’s not something I could do on my own.
I stayed in bible studies, (Jesus would always bring someone in my life to guide me on the next step of my journey), learning to live in the promise that He was faithful and would never leave me. I relied on that knowledge for as long as it took me to not just believe it but to live it.
Freedom in Forgiveness
My friends, to forgive is never easy as it means we have been hurt, most likely by someone we care about. I can not speak for everyone but I know more than anything I want to live in accord with Jesus. Anything that may keep me separated from him is something I do not want in my life. That being said, my guide to forgiving went right back to scripture, breathing it in, living it every day.
One thing I know for certain, if you seek out Jesus, He will reveal himself to you. He will guide you out of your darkness, sometimes holding your hand, other times carrying you through the pain. Trust in Him, when He died on that cross, our sin died with Him. It is no more! That is the Spiritual Freedom he has given us.
Heavenly Father, I pray for who is reading this. If they are struggling to let go of pain caused by sin, I ask you to guide them through the maze of pain, shattered trust and show them your path for them. I pray they feel your divine presence in their life as they seek you out, show them how to forgive, is to live in YOUR freedom. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen