How Do I Forgive the Unforgiveable?
Forgiveness is hard. Matter-of-fact, it is most often out of the realm of possibility within our own strength.
How does one forgive an abuser or an unfaithful spouse? How do we forgive a boss who continues to overlook our accomplishments and hard work?
What steps do we take to forgive a parent, a sibling, or a co-worker who have wronged us?
Jesus addressed the topic of forgiveness when Peter came to Him and asked, "'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!'" Matthew 18:22
So what does that mean? Does it mean that after seventy-seven times I am no longer obligated to forgive?
In essence, what Jesus was saying is this, "However much it takes....you forgive."
Okay, so again, what does that mean? Do I allow people to run all over me?
That's not what Jesus said. He said to forgive, not be a door mat, not to allow the abuse to continue, not to cozy up and be best friends with the one who has wronged you. What He meant was to release that person from having a hold on you. Release them from controlling your every thought...every emotion...every action, so that you may be set free from the bondage and weight that unforgiveness has.
Take for example...
A number of years ago, I began writing my second book. This one, however, had great promise to reach out and help many because of the virtually non-existent list of others like it. In the process of my writing, I stumbled across a "Christian" woman who owned her own publishing company. After many conversations and a check of her credentials, I trusted her with the publishing of this book. Many months went by and the sales began to decline, so much so that I began to wonder if I had made a mistake on the topic of this book. Then by God's great mercies, I found out that this woman had been publishing my book on the side and pocketing the money without my knowledge. I was devastated. The hatred I had for this woman was great. It began consuming me and affecting even my relationships with my loved ones. Finally, my husband came to me and said, "You've got to deal with this." That's when I knew that I had allowed my hatred and unforgiveness to push aside everything I knew to be right. I had to forgive her and move on. Thankfully, today I can honestly say that I hold no animosity towards this woman. The book was re-done and re-published, and continues to sell to this day. Whatever the enemy thought he was going to accomplish through this setback, failed. I still have my book, but I also have my peace of mind....and even now, forgiveness.
Whatever it is that is holding you back today, release that to God, friend. That unforgiveness can cause so much devastation in your life and the only one it really hurts is you.
Sending much love your way. Remember, He is the only One who can give you the ability to forgive. Why not call on Him today?