This is part 2 of Unforgiveness: if you have not done so, please go back and read Part 1 before this.
The questions on the table remain, what do we do with those words listed at the top of Forgiveness 101: unfair, rights, trust, …..
The unfairness? I am sorry but this is one where my mother was right, all my life I heard: “Life is unfair so get over it.” You know, my mom was right. Life is hard, life is unfair – but God is still good.
My rights – if someone hurt you, you may feel like your rights got violated and they probably did. Nothing will ever make that right, but not forgiving is keeping you attached to that person and that is not right – cut the tie the only way that will detach you – forgive. (The other person does not even have to know you forgave them, the other person does not even have to be alive). Remember this is between you and God.
They are not sorry – often they are not or offer no apology, or even continue sinning against you, should you still forgive? Absolutely, for how long? Well the same time frame as God, over and over, for your entire life time. Their part is between them and God to deal with and you cannot force that.
It is my belief that when we hold on so tightly to the wrong or event, instead of releasing that person into the hands of God because we want it done OUR way, that we prevent God from being free to work in the life of that other person.
Trust – Trust and Forgiveness are two entirely different words and two entirely different issues.
What does the verse from Colossians 3:13 say?
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Forgive. It does not say Forgive and Trust, simply forgive.
One time when my husband and I were going through some stuff, we had a pastor walk us through the forgive and trust issues.
He explained that forgiveness is totally about me. It opens my relationship with God and myself and others. Forgiveness benefits me.
Trust is earned. Simply because I forgave someone does not mean I trust them. They have to earn it.
The Pastor said that trust is much like lego. You build it a piece at a time. You get out the little foundation piece and slowly put one block on at a time. If the trust is broken again, even if the building is almost finished, the whole thing gets wiped off the foundation and you start all over again at piece 1. Trust is a long term building project, nothing quick about it.
God does not expect you to blindly trust someone who hurt you, yes, He expects you to forgive them, for your own self, not theirs, but He does not expect you to trust them.
How foolish it would be to give a person who stole your money the bank account numbers.
How foolish would it be to trust a child abuser with a child.
This is the time to establish clear and defined boundaries that say, no I will not allow this in my life or okay you can come this far but no further until you prove you are trustworthy.
Reconciliation – this word used to send me; I thought if I forgave I would have to have a relationship with that person again. Forgiveness does NOT mean that you have to have a relationship with the other person ever again. It’s not a “I forgave you and you have to be my friend thing”. It was in my divorceCare teaching that I learned that reconciliation means – to be friendly. That could mean a head nod or a slight wave if I saw that person, it could mean I do not see that person, but it means that I harbour no ill will.
I am going to be really real here:
The sermon I heard in the states about the levels of forgiveness, where most churches and Christians model tolerance instead of forgiveness. It hit me right between the eyes and I can barely read or listen to that sermon still without weeping.
We had gotten to that service early and we were basically the only ones sitting there. The preacher was walking back and forth on the stage and he would stop and look out at us. I could tell he was getting a download from God because I recognized the look.
In my pious little pride, I even wondered “Did God tell him we are from Canada?”
When he opened his mouth and started that sermon on tolerance not forgiveness, my pride hit the floor and my heart broke because I KNEW he was talking about me. I thought I had forgiven my husband, who was sitting right beside me for some offenses, but I realized, I had been living in tolerance not forgiveness.
You see if my husband did something wrong, I was the same as the wife with the clothes on the floor sermon bringing up the past and slinging it into his face. I hear us women are famous for remembering all the wrongs our husbands (or anyone) do from years ago. Well I was certainly guilty of that.
I wept as I offered up to God and my husband my forgiveness right there in that church.
As a couple we have boundaries in place and have for years that are suitable for the situation, but I could not fully bring myself to forgive to the point where if he did it again, I would be able to say it was like the first time.
God says He will remember our sins no more – God is the only one who can fully do that.
My job as a follower of Jesus is to have trust plans in place for the past, forgive totally so that my husband does not have to wear the past years mistakes flung all over him any time he messes up and to pray for him. (yes, you have to do it for your offenders)
God showed me the verse in Job 42:10
“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
God restored the fortunes of Job after he had prayed for those who were against him.
Do you/I want the blessings of God? Do you/I want your family to walk with Him? Do you want health and healing for your body? This is the real deal!
Being a Christian on this level is to operate in true forgiveness, not tolerance. This very issue will unlock doors that have kept our families chained for generations, addictions, abuse, all the things that satan has laughed over because we let him win simply because we are too stubborn to forgive totally or because we did not know. We do now.
Picture me standing up on a chair and franticly pointing my finger at you because I want you to get this:
“This is one of the most important and powerful things you will do for yourself and your family! This is a key, an actual Kingdom of God key, to unlock God’s kingdom and a weapon to smash down the plans of the enemy for you and your family and your generations. This will set you and your family free to walk in the knowledge and purposes of God. What is holding you back? Unless of course you prefer to stay stuck in the chains and prison of unforgiveness and suffer it’s consequences.
I know it’s hard! I know it seems unfair! I know I do not want to do it! But I know I want Gods favour. I want God’s blessings! I want my health! I want my family to walk with God! I want any generational sins to be cut off!
I want FREEDOM! Please tell God you want it too.”