Friends, I have often heard that forgiveness is not a gift that you give to your wrongdoer but it is a gift that you give to yourself when you have been wronged. Yet, often times we hold out on this gift to ourselves. We are quick to accept Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, wedding gifts, baby shower gifts, gifts of donations, etc but when it comes to the gift of forgiveness, we often pass it by.
Instead, often times when we have been wronged, we place ourselves in a zone. I like to refer to it as the “misery” zone. Before long this zone becomes comfortable to us and it becomes more and more difficult for us to move out of the zone. Many times, when we are in the misery zone, we will even try to invite others in to join us. It goes along with the old adage that misery loves company…..and it does.
So how do you get out of the “misery” zone of unforgiveness when you find yourself there? How do you let go and release the pain, the hurt, frustration or betrayal of your wrongdoer? How do you get well and move on? In essence, how do you heal to be made whole after you have been wronged? How do you begin to give the gift of forgiveness to yourself and how do you receive the gift with open arms?
Friends, these are not simple questions to answer but we shall walk through it together to walk out of the “misery” zone for once and for all and to into the zone that I like to call “peace”. So what is the first step out of the “misery” zone….in my opinion, it’s “ownership”. What do I mean by this? I mean that no one person is responsible for your peace, happiness or joy in life, other than yourself. No one has the power to make you miserable…no one. If you are comfortable in the “misery” zone, it is by your own choice.
“But he did this”, “and she did that”, “but they said this”, yes, he or she or they have wronged you, I unaerstand that. But whatever the wrongdoer did to you, it’s done. It’s over, talking about it and reliving it serves no purpose other than to keep you in the comfort zone of your misery. Yes, he may have done this horrible thing to you for one day, one week, one month, 10 years, but be thankful that you are out of it now. Yes, she may have said this slanaerous, malicious thing about you but you cannot control what others think or say about you, so why hold on to it? Why give power to the wrongdoings of others by allowing their offenses to consume, control, or wreck havoc on your life?
Forgiveness is a choice, not an emotional state. I believe forgiveness is a choice we make through a decision of our will, motivated by our obedience to God and his command to forgive others. Colossians 3:13 Reminas us to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Yes, friends this means that even in your emotional state of hurt and pain, you still have the choice to show mercy, grace and unaerstanding to forgive the person that has wronged you.
We are to forgive our wrongdoers by faith, whether we want to or not. We trust in God by faith for many things, forgiveness towards others should be no exception. So how will we know if we have truly forgiven our wrongdoers? Lewis B. Smedes said it best in his book, Forgive ana Forget, “When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.”
Ask yourself are you willing to forgive and forget and set yourself free to heal ana begin to live a joyful life in peace?
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This article appears in Forbes. Let’s be honest. Change is hard. Transformation can make the best of us feel uneasy. ...
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