Forgiveness - The Art That Heals
To hear the word "forgiveness"...
Forgiveness - the word itself causes many of us to think of words and phrases such as sin, wrong doing, mistakes, grief, guilt, shame, regret and despair, among others.
It causes us to think of the negative aspects of being human because we are capable of committing wrongful acts every hour of the day; we think of the downside of life because we can all think back to mistakes we've made and sins we've committed, even though some may have caused more damage than others.
Right now, we are thinking from the perspective of the wrong-doer and are almost ready to grovel and hide our faces once again just from memories of the past.
However, the word forgiveness means something totally different to the one who has been forgiven.
Words such as redemption, relief, grace, love, hope and salvation come to mind. It brings a sense of peace because, at some point in our past, we have been forgiven and the memory brings a feeling of thanksgiving and gratitude into our souls.
Forgiveness: How easy is it?
Can you forgive someone immediately when they hurt you or someone you love?
Turning tragedy to Triumph
When feeling pain and sorrow, it's hard to see any clouds with silver linings. Everything on the horizon looks bleak and dismal, at best.
However, God can turn tragedy into triumph and it often begins with a forgiving attitude.
No one is above failure, though many people stand in the seat of judgment.
People hurt us so badly ...
Sometimes people hurt us so badly they cripple us; this may be physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, or in other areas of our lives.
People who claim to love us may abuse us by using words aimed to destroy us and actions bent on instilling fear into our souls; we may be hurt as a result of an automobile accident in which case the hurt inflicted on us wasn't intentional, but we are still hurt.
When people hurt us by robbing from us - taking what belongs to us and feeling justified in doing so - it has great potential to set us back financially and the repercussions are often enormous for some people. In some cases, parents can't put food on the table for their children, have to wait to buy clothing and family vacations are canceled. It builds resentment and shatters trust in society as a whole because it just doesn't seem fair to work so hard and to be violated in such a way.
When we hurt, there's a tendency to blame God; after all, God knew what was going to happen to us but didn't bother to stop things from occurring. For a while, resentment builds, faith takes a nosedive and we are more miserable than we initially were because we ignore our only source of true and lasting hope.
We justify ourselves in so many areas for not forgiving another person.
Does that mean we are right?
Reasons we don't forgive - Of course, these are only a few...
- My spouse beats me up; I keep making up stories hoping people won't find out.
- I can't talk to my friends anymore because my spouse is so jealous of time I spend with other people; it doesn't even matter whether my friends are men or women.
- I'm not allowed to give my opinions in most areas of life; my thoughts and feelings are unimportant, or so it seems.
- People continue to say things which embarrass me in public; once in a while, I may be able to deal with it but, when it recurs often, it really upsets me.
- My children won't listen to me; I'm trying to steer them in the right direction but, most times, all they do is ignore or insult me.
- Someone spread rumors about me and my friends turned against me; I feel empty and don't think I'll ever be able to forgive that person.
- My spouse claimed to love me but slept with another woman/man.
- Someone broke into my house and vandalized it; it will take me a long time to get it in order but, even then, I may never be comfortable enough to stay here.
- My child was abducted and/or violated. God help whoever did this!!!
- My loved one is dying at such a young age; that's just wrong!
- My spouse turns away from me every time I try to get close.
Amazing but true!
An unforgiving spirit hurts you, not the other person.
Holding onto past hurts
When we hold onto past hurts, heartaches, and humiliation, we are hurting ourselves;
those who have sinned against us have already moved on with their lives ... whereas we are stuck in the past - suffering in silence or frequently complaining about how someone has wronged us.
It's easy for me to say - After all, I'm not in YOUR situation ... but...
Do you feel justified in not forgiving someone who has wronged you?
The Consequences of Unforgiving Spirits
What do we feel when someone hurts us?
Anger, pain, rejection, dismay, heartache, grief and sorrow, to name a few.
For most people, in time, these feelings lessen as other situations occur and develop in the course of living life.
However, for those who have unforgiving spirits, time doesn't heal old wounds; instead, feelings fester and grow in intensity until people are consumed by what has grown into hatred for another individual.
The hardest person to forgive
If you think of it, you may agree that, sometimes, the hardest person to forgive is ourself.
We set standards for ourselves and, in some cases, we can't even hope to maintain them. Nonetheless, we strive to do so and, when we fall, we have trouble letting go of the anger and humiliation we feel towards ourselves.
The results of learning to forgive others...
What are the benefits/advantage of learning to forgive others?
God loves the humble and the proud, the cheater and the cheated.
Being Completely Honest
If we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that we feel cheated sometimes - cheated from our hopes and dreams, cheated from what we feel we deserve.
Strength in forgiveness
There are many benefits in store for people who exercise forgiveness and, strangely enough, these benefits can be considered pearls because they are rare, but precious, and cannot be compared to anything else.
Forgiveness builds character ...
The Greatest Miracle of All
It's tragic when a person must suffer consequences for actions committed at another time, what seems to be another era.
However, the beauty lies in knowing God's love and forgiveness transcends time, space and circumstance.
How can I forgive? - I don't know where to begin...
Unforgiveness, in and of itself, is a battle to live with; however, when people hurt us and continue to hurt us, it seems we have a never-ending battle on our hands. I often refer to it as the struggle to survive.
Below you will read of a person who is living each moment with this type of struggle. Pain seems to be ever-present ; despair and heartache rule the day. Peace and contentment are goals which are hoped for may never materialize.
Take a step with me into this person's world (thankfully, it isn't mine) and I pray you do not find yourself in this particular situation; if so, I beseech you to talk to someone because, in so doing, you may find a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hurting deep inside where no one sees;
Would you please come and rescue me?
I struggle to make it through the night;
I think of tomorrow - I’ve no more fight.
Too much heartache, too much crime,
Too much looking back through time.
My friends no more; can’t share the truth.
My only longing is for my youth.
My children - they suffer all day long;
What happened to their joyful song?
Tears blind my heart and flood my soul;
My only wish is to feel whole.
October 07, 2009
Forgiveness goes hand-in-hand with love; one cannot exist without the other.
Forgiveness provides something people strive to attain
A powerful tool...
the written word
The written word is a powerful tool which people can go back to, time and time again.
Sometimes it's hard to say the words a person would love to hear and you so desperately need to speak; in many cases, the words just don't come forth, even though the words have such power to change lives in positive ways.
Perhaps you struggle to forgive someone; perhaps the desire is there but the courage to speak the words just doesn't come forth.
Consider one of these blank greeting cards. When thinking about the act of forgiving another person, it's a beautiful way to embrace the future. The photos of these greeting cards provide a wonderful snapshot of today preparing to embrace tomorrow so what better avenue can you take when you wish to breathe pearls of life into your soul, as well as the soul of another?
Golden Splash, as this photo is so aptly named, is also a Pigeon Lake sunset photo; it continues to fill my heart with a song of thanksgiving and joy. There's something about the photo that captivates me and throws me back into another time and place - another lifetime, or so it seems. The sun spreads her rays across the sky and lake so that the human eye is basked in sheer radiance. Could anyone ever ask for a greater gift than to watch this spectacle unfold?
Darkening clouds over Pigeon Lake - it's at this point when I know the sun won't be around much longer. Sadly, I know I will sleep through its counterpart - sunrise - but I'm thrilled at having had the opportunity to experience this particular sunset - and watching its various phases. I enjoyed the opportunity to watch today preparing to say, "Good-bye," in preparation of welcoming tomorrow with it's hopes, dreams and possibilities.
Forgiveness: an art form?
As a sketch artist, painter, songwriter, or author will tell you, works of art are not created instantly.
There is a labor of love involved with art... and if the desire to finish a project goes away, only the would-be creator would know. However, when strokes are made and words are typed, the end result can very well turn out to be a masterpiece.
The same is true of forgiveness; it doesn't occur overnight but, ultimately, forgiving others allows you to enjoy the masterpiece called, "life."
Forgiveness is an essential part of life; in fact, when you've been hurt, it's imperative that you master the art of forgiving another person.
Please share your comments about this all-important topic below.