Forgiveness Frees You From Pain

...but most people are looking for vengeance rather than healing through forgiveness. If you are struggling because someone has harmed you, those past actions can control your thoughts today. But, when you understand the power of forgiveness, the past no longer needs to controls you. Forgiveness frees you from pain by getting the past out of the present so you can enjoy today and move forward into the future.

The Past

You probably have no desire to hurt any of your relationships - at least I hope not. But you may be right now remembering wrongs done to you years ago.

What is the problem here?

...if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, "I repent," you shall forgive him. - Luke 17:4

Forgiveness Keeps the Past Out of the Present

Most often people do not live in reality about the past. What's the reality? The past is OVER!

Look in the news and read about countries that are developing strategies, setting goals and taking actions, because of past events. Now think about that, rather than getting over the past, the past is dictating the actions of the countries, yet it is OVER!!

Seems to me that something is wrong here. If the past is over, how could it be so powerful? How can something that is finished, over and gone continue to exhibit power?

Because the past is only powerful when we give it power.

When you have wronged someone or they have wronged you, that action has occurred and it is over. When you dwell on, "how wrong they were to have done that to me" or "how can I ever get over what I did to them", you give the past power that it does not have alone. As a result, you become controlled by the past.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness frees you from pain you are feeling now for wrongs that have been done to you in the past. Do you want to put the past where it belongs - in the past? If so, the forgiveness is what you need. The power of forgiveness is second only to love (pursuing the best for others: patiently, kindly, sacrificially and unconditionally). It is difficult for me to believe that you would say you love someone and yet, not forgive. Without forgiveness you face some bad consequences:

  • Loss of a walk with God - He has forgiven us and asks us to do the same. You are still His child, but an intimate relationships with Him is lost until forgiveness is part of your life.
  • Loss of health and vitality - research shows that bitterness creates physical problems.
  • Loss of joy - bitterness and joy cannot occupy the same space.
  • Loss of freedom - you build a nice house in your mind for your offender and move them in, rent free. You become controlled by the very person you may hate.
  • Loss of hope - you cannot see how things can be different. Depression is often birthed from the lost hope for justice.

Seems like forgiveness is widely misunderstood. Probably because it gets linked to other items like tolerating, condoning bad behavior, reconciliation and forgetting. So when you link it to something you don't want to do, the result is you don't forgive.

But, forgiveness is separate from those things. You can see more about how forgiveness frees you from pain in the course 08c titled, "Freedom from Resentments, Bitterness and Grudges."

REsolution

Picture a couple walking side-by-side. There is nothing between them. That is the critical picture of two people who are not letting past events separate them - a picture of two people practicing forgiveness.

But when unforgiveness is part of a relationship, the result is unresolved issues, people separated from each other. Each item needs to be resolved and removed so that the relationship can be restored.

Now picture a couple walking side-by-side and then look at the path behind them. When forgiveness is involved, the result is packages of resolved issues left on the trail that they have been walking. That's the reality of how relationships grow and work through difficulties. 

Forgiveness Heals

"Good relationships leave a trail of resolved issues." - Dr. Fred Lybrand

Finally, if you believe forgiveness frees you from pain from the past and you don't want to cripple your relationship with the consequences of unforgiveness, ask yourself...

  • Am I bitter, holding grudges and resentments?
  • Am I forgiving as I have been forgiven?
  • Am I confessing when I was wrong?

Resolve issues - live in reality - the past is OVER!!

GR8 Relationships—Pursuing the BEST in work, in life, in love.

Right Thinking—Right Relationships—Right NOW!!

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