Forgiveness does not mean the restoration of a relationship. It does not mean there must be a conversation where forgiveness is expressed. We have all seen victims families publicly and directly forgive the one who caused the death of their loved one but that does not need to happen unless the Lord lays it on your heart to do. Some people need to be forgiven at a distance because the forgiveness is for your benefit not theirs. Some people are not safe and a relationship will never be possible or even necessary for you to forgive them. It is not judicial forgiveness your are offering, only God can do that. The forgiveness that is in view here and the freedom that comes from it stems out of your own heart. You don’t have it feel it, you don’t even have to have sense of urgency about it, you need to forgive because it is what God says is best for you. Again, the looming…how?
Since the statement of Jesus was framed in the context of prayer it is through prayer that the process of forgiving the undeserving begins. The prayer can sound like this; “Dear God, I believe your will and plan is best in all things and I want to honor you in every area of my life. Someone has hurt me, harmed me and abused me and you have asked me to forgive them for my own sake. My mind and heart say no, they don’t deserve it and my emotions cry out for justice. But as your Son prayed in the garden, so to do I say to you as the Lord of my life, nevertheless not my will, but yours be done. Help me to pardon the undeserving through a supernatural outpouring of your Spirit of grace upon me, no matter how I think or feel. May your will be done in my life and may I truly forgive even as you forgave me.” Now here’s the key, your flesh may be saying; I don’t want to forgive them, they don’t deserve it” or your emotions may be feeling “why am I’m praying this, I don’t really mean it” but the truth of the matter is, no matter what you may think or or feel when you pray that, you have just prayed according to the will of God and God has promised to give you whatever you ask that is in accordance with His will. This means that God will begin to work in your heart through even mechanical and unfelt words because your are praying in obedience to the revealed word and will of God.
“Remember what Jesus said to all who would follow: Then He said to them all, “ If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. ” – Luke 9:23
I know these things are hard to read, I know they seem unfair, I know and have seen the death of wounds created by sexual, emotional or physical abuse and to ask that justice be denied is injustice in and of itself. But, that is not what is being asked of you. What is being asked of you is that when justice is impossible in the realm of man you leave justice in the hands of the Lord and remember that He is not unjust. I must say again, this book and chapter are about when the damage has been done and the injury has occurred and it’s too late to stop it. For those currently experiencing abuse the Lord is not saying to you, just take it and be silent. We are dealing with wounds that have already occurred and how to turn mourning into Dancing with the Scars. Do not read this chapter thinking your pain doesn’t matter, it does. This chapter and all the others are about not letting your pain dominate your life, not letting grief rule your mind, not living your life a by product of circumstances when there is hope, joy and peace that can be found and even freedom from forgiveness that is yours to embrace.
Pray God enables you to forgive the undeserving who hurt, harmed or abused you.
Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.