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Forgiveness God's Way
Do you harbor unforgiveness and want to be set free? Do you feel fed up with allowing anger, bitterness, and resentment from others' past wrong doings rob you of your future? Holding on to unforgiveness affects your enitre life. Not only does it make you unpleasant to be around, but it can take a toll on your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Wouldn't you finally like to experience the benefits that forgiveness can add to your life? According to mayoclinic.org, choosing forgiveness can result in:
Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
Less anxiety, stress and hostility
Lower blood pressure
Fewer symptoms of depression
Stronger immune system
Improved heart health
Now you may be wondering how you, too, can experience the joys of forgiveness. Here's how.
Admit that you struggle with unforgiveness. Denial won't help you get free.
This will require honest introspection. You mustn't say that you're fine and that you don't care about what others have done to you in the past when deep down you really do. It's not a weakness to admit that you can't get pass the hurtful words or actions that make you angry every time you think about them. When you can look at unforgiveness face to face, that is, acknowledge its harmful grip on your life, the healing process can begin.
Denying, however, that you have unforgivesness- when you really do- will only keep you stagnate; unable to move forward. Avoidance will force you to stuff unforgiveness away; never taking the time to seek freedom while it gnaws away at you.
Recognize that you are unable to forgive in your own strength. Only God can give you the empowerment to forgive.
This is a very helpful step in the journey toward forgiveness. Jesus said in John 15:5 that without Him you can do nothing. You can't forgive anyone without the help and strength from God; it's futile to even try. You must realize and accept that you are an imperfect being, created by God to depend on Him for everything. That includes the area of unforgiveness.
Give the unforgiveness to God and let Him handle it. He is very capable!
After you have recognized that you can't forgive in your own strength and that only God can help you. Now what? You take that unforgiveness that's kept you bound and you give it to the God who loves you very much. 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast your care on Him for He cares for you. God cares about and loves you. He is able and willing to take care of everything that concerns you, including unforgiveness. Give it all to the One who can heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. (Psalm 147:3).
Trust God's Method
Now that you've given your unforgiveness to God, trust His process even if you don't understand it. Sometimes God allows you to experience an attitude of forgiveness immediately, and sometimes He allows you to experience it bit by bit over a longer period of time. Even if you feel like you've not made any progress, trust God's method and timing. He hasn't forgotten about you. He is handling your situation the way He sees fit for you; in a way that is best for you.
God is a Genius at handling and caring for you. He is interested in you growing and learing the lessons that He wants you to learn in life. God wants you to trust and be steadfast that He has everything in your life under control; that you are free from unforgiveness, no matter how long it takes to see results. He is for you.
Remember, you cannot control other people. You can only control how you choose to respond to offenses.
In life, people are going to say and do offensive things that will hurt you to the core. It's something that you can't escape nor control. As you embrace this new lifestyle of forgiveness, always seek God's instruction on how to respond to negative words and attitudes in a way that honors Him. Ask God the best way to react to what people say and do to you. Strive to be pleasing in His sight, even if you feel resentment and unforgiveness creeping back into your heart. He knows how to get you back on track.
You don't have to live in the prison of unforgiveness forever. The freedom of forgiveness is within your reach. Anger, bitterness, and resentment that plagued you in the past doesn't define your future. If unforgiveness is a struggle for you, do yourself a favor and allow your loving God to give you beauty for ashes. (Isaiah 61:3).