Saturday, October 20, 2012

"when you feel like an ocean being warmed by the sun"

So this is probably part one of many blog posts on this subject, but I've been stewing on some thoughts for a while, and it's about time I shared them. 

Forgiveness: the toughest thing in the world to do

Anthony and I have started going to church again, and it was there that I heard a sermon that brought me to tears-- sobby, nasty tears. I don't really cry in church. Moving topics "move" me but they don't move me to tears. This one did. Like I said, sobby, nasty tears. 

I've heard SO many lessons on the topic of forgiveness, but never have I heard one like this.

I'm a grudge carrier. I hoist grudges up on my shoulders; I raise them up on flag poles and wave them around. Sometimes, on my good days, I think that I've "forgiven" those that have wronged me. And I feel good about that. But sometimes.. when I'm alone and have the grand world of Facebook at my fingertips, I start stalking. It usually comes about through a friend of a friend of a friend that's still friends with an ex friend, but.. sometimes I just key in a few names into the search bar and have at it. Oh my, is this dangerous. It re-opens old wounds and prances around in them, reminding me of hurt, after hurt, after hurt. It's so not healthy.

But back to the sermon. Forgiveness: God's gift to us. Say whaa'? I thought it was God's/our gift to THEM. Nope, not so. God didn't want us carrying on to hurt and bitterness and all of the horrible things that go along with that. He wanted us to be able to let that go and be free from those entanglements. We do that through forgiveness. It's for us! It's not for them. It's for ME. So I can be free. So I can be happy. They don't have to know that they're forgiven. Forgiving them doesn't release them of judgment or repercussions... not at all. But it does release us from their stronghold. 

Forgiveness is something good we do for ourselves. It's not welcoming them back to the relationship we once had, and it's not restoration. 

There's more to this idea than my thoughts from a sermon I heard, but maybe it'll speak to someone else, too? I haven't forgiven everyone yet... In fact, I'm realizing every day someone else that has a tiny little grip on me. This is going to be a long, long process. But it's for ME, for my growth and freedom. Perhaps that will make it a little easier.


Lillian said...

(If this post's twice I apologize)

I heard something on Big Bang Theory of all places, when Sheldon is trying to put Wil Wheaton down, Wil says something to him along the lines of "thank you for letting me live rent free, right here" (pointing to Sheldon's head). That really struck me hard! How many people live rent free inside my head and heart? I looked up the original saying; "Holding a grudge is like letting an enemy live rent-free inside your head" but cannot find who said it first.

A good source on forgiveness is Lewis Smedes book, "Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve" I love that in the book, he gives the reader permission to go back and forgive the person again. He recognizes that forgiveness is often a circular process.

Looking forward to your future posts on this subject.


Amy @ AGirlCalledBeloved said...

Wow! A great way to look at it! So true! It just shows us that he wants to give us so many blessings and we just need to take them!
I used to think forgiveness was like a one time thing, but as I've gotten older I see that it is a lifelong journey of healing.
Wonderful post Liz!

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In the name of Allah,the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful.

Say, "O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you - that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah." But if they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]."
O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?
Here you are - those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you know not.
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists.
Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.
A faction of the people of the Scripture wish they could mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they perceive [it] not.
O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the verses of Allah while you witness [to their truth]?

Holy Quran 3:64-70