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By Guest Editorial Darrell Watson
Fathers House Fellowship 

What true forgiveness looks like and how to practice it

 

September 19, 2018



In our daily interactions with others, we have all experienced the hurt caused by people who disappoint us, do us harm, lie to us, or commit some act that causes pain. When these things occur, we always have a choice. We can choose to hold onto hurt and anger, or we can choose to release it.

Forgiving does not mean we condone the acts or misdeeds of others; it means we release them and ourselves from the bondage of hatred and judgment. Just what is the pathway to total forgiveness?

First, it means we forgive that person. Second, we may need to forgive ourselves. This is often hard because we often judge ourselves more harshly than we do others. Third, we may need to forgive God for allowing it to happen in our lives.

Not forgiving really does not harm or punish the other person. No, it just keeps us in bondage to emotions that are self-destructive. Revenge-filled fantasies only increase the negative thoughts that actually can cause us illness and diminish our ability to interact with those we really care about.

Many people have tried to forgive, but still find themselves bothered by the past. There is a second part to experiencing TOTAL FORGIVENESS that will bring peace and healing. This is to release everything to God and give it all up. Here’s some wise steps to take to accomplish this. Examine yourself with these seven steps to experience total forgiveness.

1. You decide to no longer tell what ‘that person’ did or what happened.

2. You don’t plan revenge or want them to fear you.

3. You don’t want them to feel guilty. (Often that person is unaware of any pain or hurt they caused you.)

4. You let them save face.

5. You choose to protect their secrets.

6. You purpose to keep on forgiving them.

7. You will actually pray for them.

It is no accident that in Jesus example of how to pray, he says “forgive us as we forgive.” He is the best example of forgiveness we have; none of us will have to endure what He did on the cross. We can purpose to voice forgiving words and thoughts and allow our emotions to catch up with our words; they will, and we will experience the freedom and healing that will always come when we choose to forgive.

 

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