Sunday, November 27, 2011

Forgiveness - the KEY to survival

What is forgiveness?

To give up resentment of or claim to requital for; to cease to feel resentment against (an offender)

This seems to be one of the hardest concepts for our feeble human minds to comprehend.  Why?  Because everyone wants justification, vengeance, honor.... Revenge.
When someone wrongs us or hurts us in some way, our selfish pride feels some sort of obligation to hurt another in retaliation.  It's how human nature is.
An eye for an eye...

So forgiving someone who has hurt us is hard.  It takes alot of love and faith.... and well... true soul searching and selflessness.  And it doesn't happen overnight.  Nor does it last overnight.  Most of the time, you have to forgive on a daily basis.  Remind yourself everyday that you have forgiven and let go of that pain and that need for self gratification.

The even harder thing about forgiveness is this....... you MUST forgive yourself.
People make mistakes and hurt us.  Yes.  But guess what.  We are HUMAN and we often make mistakes that hurt others along with our own selves.
At that point, you must make a point to forgive.  Not just yourself for hurting someone else (which is very important too... along with hopefully their forgiveness)
But the thing that stifles us most, is actually being able to forgive ourselves for being human.
We make mistakes.
We choose wrong paths.
We hurt people.
We are selfish.
We are resentful.
We are prideful.... oh how we are prideful.
And in that prideful persona, we put ourselves into a self inflicted bondage.
It's like our pride is so important to us that actually ADMITTING we were wrong or did wrong, is a life threatening blow to our ego.
Which gives us something to constantly hold over our OWN head.  And something we constantly feel the need to justify and "make up for".
We find ourselves over compensating in other areas of our lives in order to bury that mistake that we made.  If we make up for it in other ways, it justifies our wrong doing.

Truth of the matter is, without forgiveness of our OWN faults, you will never be happy with yourself.  And without being happy with yourself, you will never find TRUE happiness or contentment with anyone else either.  You will live a constant lie.  Habitually ridiculing and criticizing others in order to make you feel better about YOU.
"well.... at least I didn't do what HE did"
"at least I'm good at this...."
"at least I went to church last Sunday"
"at least 'so and so' likes me BETTER"
Constant rectification and justification and prideful indulgence - that I can assure you my friend will NEVER give you the peace you are so desperately looking for.

Some of you that read my blog are Christians and some are not.
Either way - you can take this to heart.
And if you have questions, comments, or opinions, please don't hesitate to share.
I read something last night that TOTALLY hit a chord with me.
It says this:
"If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, (admitting you were wrong and asking for forgiveness) you allow yourself to remain in sin.  Repentance is a gift of God.  Our natural life can only be turned spiritual through sacrifice.  If we do not sacrifice the natural to the spiritual, the natural life will resist and defy the life of God in us and will produce CONSTANT TURMOIL.  God will not be involved in your natural lives as long as we continue to pamper and gratify it (sin, selfishness, and wrong doing) !"

People struggle every day with finding their place in the world.  Their niche so to speak.  Where they feel comfortable and can truly be at peace with themselves.  The fact of the matter is, if you have refused to forgive others or forgive yourselves and refuse to give up that PRIDE that you hold so dearly to.... God can not bless you and you WILL be in constant turmoil.

Romans 12:9-21
  9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I implore you today....... search your soul and find those bitter hurtful things you are harboring inside and let them GO! 
Search your soul for those things that you feel and do on a daily basis, that you justify and hold so dearly to... all for the pure reasoning of protecting that selfish pride.
Forgive those who hurt you.
Forgive yourself for hurting others.
But MOST importantly, forgive YOURSELF for being human and let go of your past.  Believe it or not YOU YOURSELF can NOT justify the mistakes or "make up for them".  You can only let them go and learn from them and start living life better rather than living life in constant turmoil to make up for wrong doing.
Ask God for forgiveness and know that if HE can forgive you, you CAN forgive yourself.
Let yourself off the hook.
We are human.
But we are saved by grace and we are FORGIVEN!