The Depth of Forgiveness

July 2014 062

One of my all time favorite places on earth would have to be the beach.  I love the look and sound of the waves crashing against the shore.  To stand on the shoreline and just try and take in the vastness of it is overwhelming.  The same is true of God’s love.  We cannot begin to imagine the depths of His love for us.  However, I am certain that given only a short time to live you would be more apt to take the risk and dive in deeper to explore His love.  When we go deeper into God’s love we find out that true peace in our lives comes only through forgiveness.

The Lord’s Prayer spells this out for us, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).  There is not one of us out there that doesn’t want God to forgive us when we do something wrong.  Many of us would like to leave the prayer right there, however, it goes on to say that we are to forgive others.  Forgiving others is not always easy. In fact, when someone else hurts us, human nature tells us to not let go of it and certainly not forgive him or her.  This is only on the surface, just like the ocean or God’s love.  We must go deeper to discover why forgiveness is necessary.  There are several reasons given in the Bible to forgive.

One reason would be that Christ commands us to.  Just as Paul wrote in Colossians, “forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).  It does not say if you feel like it or sometimes forgive.  No, this scripture plainly commands us to forgive just as Christ had forgiven us.

Forgiveness is not for the other person, as much as it is for you.  If you choose not to forgive, you will eventually drown in a sea of bitterness and resentment.  The person that hurts you originally, more than likely has no idea what this is doing to you.  This load you continue to carry, because of your unwillingness to forgive, is like an anchor tied around you as you are swimming through life.  It will simply wear you out.  In addition, the bitterness will begin to take hold of other relationships in your life and they will begin to suffer.  It is necessary to cut lose of the anchor, forgive the other person, and swim on through life.

Do not wait until you “feel” like forgiving to do so.  Many times that feeling does not come.  However, we are doing so because God commands it and it is ultimately for our own good.  I love what Kerry and Christ said in One Month to Live, “Someone once wisely observed that to forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover the prisoner was you” (77).  Do not let the bitterness of unforgiveness keep you locked up in a prison.  You hold the key to say, “I was hurt by what you did, but through God’s power, I forgive you.”  This will not only set you free from your prison, but also allow God’s blessings to flow over you.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Make two lists.  The first list is the people you need to forgive.  The second is the people you need to ask forgiveness from.  Now take the lists to God in prayer and ask for His help to forgive you, as well as, to forgive others.
  2. Write a letter to God expressing all of your hurts and anger.  He already knows what is in your heart, but He longs to hear it from you. Then, go to Him in pray and ask for Him to heal the hurts in your life.
  3. Choose something that represents the ocean to you (picture, seashell, memento, etc.) and put in a place in your home that will serve as a visual reminder to you of God’s deep ocean of forgiveness for you and how you should forgive as well.

One thought on “The Depth of Forgiveness

  1. Hello Sis,
    as usual you’re right on point, early on in my life as a child i suffered many hurts,by many people whom i loved and respected, but those people hurt me and i carried those hurts for many years of my life,
    & because back when i was coming up folks didn’t talk the way we talk today, certain subjects just were never discussed, so i kept quiet about all the pain that i was carrying, because i had no one to talk to and really didn’t know who i could trust, and not even just that but, many times i wondered if i talked about my hurts how many others would be hurt by what i had to say, so i kept it inside and allowed the pain to grow and grow into unforgiveness and hate even, and let me tell you it wasnt even until i became an adult that i realized i had to let go of the things that i had carried around inside me, because i was allowing it to eat away at me which in turn caused me to be angry and bitter and dislike people who hadnt even done anything to me, all because these select people hurt me and i just really didn’t know how to forgive them.. one day i came home from work and i listen to this tv program and prophetess juanita bynum was speaking that night and i remembered hearing her talk about forgivenesss, and being held in bondage when you dont forgive, and you have to even be able to forgive yourself, and so wwhen she started praying , i got down on my knees, and i started talking to jesus, and she said now dont just say you forgive them you have to call them by name, and i did, every person that ever hurt me, from the time i was a child to adult, i called out names one by one, & i started to feel god lifting those burdens off of me one by one, and i began to feel a weight being lifted off of me, god is so good, and he loves his children so much that when you go to him with a sincere heart and you really want something bad enough he will do it, and it doesnt take long,, but i remember being on that floor that night until at least 4am the next morning, and she started praying at 11:30 that night before, i remember so vividly.. i remember going into my bathroom looking in the mirror at myself. i dont know what i was looking for . but, i know that daddy god did exactly what i asked him for that night.. i knew that in order for me to move on in my life i absolutely had to forgive all those people who had hurt me and even forgive my self for holding on to it for so long, and for feeling the way i felt about them for what they had done to me.. I wasn’t perfect, i’m not perfect now and god loves me so much that he forgives me for the things i do wrong, so what makes me think i shouldn’t forgive others..

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