I wasn’t aware I had unforgiveness in my heart.
But, I wondered, “Do I need to forgive?”
So, I sat before the Lord and asked the Spirit to reveal to me if there was anyone I needed to forgive. Someone did come to mind. Someone rather unexpected.
This person had hurt me again and again.
They had stepped on my toes.
They had left me annoyed.
They had let me down.
I had forgiven them in the past, but new offenses had taken the place of their forgiven place.
I thought, in my mind I thought, “This person – again? How many times do I have to go back to this person?”
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Mt. 18:21-22)
Jesus doesn’t call us to forgive and be done. He knew that one who is forgiven once, likely needs to be forgiven and forgiven again and again. He doesn’t call to a blanket statement forgiveness system, but a system of ever-flowing, ever-aware and ever-outpouring forgiveness.
How many times does Jesus forgive me?
He calls us to seek out the unknown pits of resentment we hide- in us –
to uncover the known depth of love that he stands ready to outstretch – through us.
A moment of prayer highlighted my black tar within. I never would have realized it if I hadn’t asked. I had forgiven this person so many times, I thought they were covered. I thought I had forgiven.
Jesus knows that people hurters (like you and me) are likely to hurt again and he calls us to forgive them again. Why? Because we are called to something greater – agape love. Not love that says, “I love this day, I love your hair, I love that shirt. I love this place.” Not a shallow, convenient or useful love, instead we are called to the hard depths of real love. We are called to a love like Christ loved.
To love with a love that says, “Despite what you did to me (Example: nailing me to a cross):
I see who God made you to be.
I offer unconditional benevolence towards you.
Nothing can hold me back from offering deep goodness to you.
Christ shows me how to turn the other cheek.
Nothing can conquer the deep heart I have for you.
“…The greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)
“As the Father loved me, so have I loved you, now remain in my love.” (John 15:9)
Does a bag of unforgiveness weigh you down? Have you been carrying around load of unneeded junk?
I noticed, the only back unforgiveness was breaking was mine.
It didn’t cause pain to the person that hurt me.
It didn’t teach them a lesson.
It didn’t make them change.
But, my shoulders slumped, my heart felt a little more heavy and my walk with God was burdened.
Yet, as I sought God; he revealed to me new view that changed my perception on forgiveness.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19)
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mt 18:18)
When we forgive and we remove junk out of our purse,
the Lord doesn’t leave us with an empty hole.
He doesn’t leave that space unoccupied.
When we forgive the Lord comes back in to fill us up again.
You see, forgiveness is an exchange of our weighted junk for his refreshment.
Refreshment that offers wave after wave of grace, mountain after mountain of joy, an eternal hope of glory, solid-rock security, never ending significance and a waterfall of constant renewal.
Will we accept all that he has for us?
Will we reach out and grab it?
Becuase he holds this refreshment out to us.
The question is – will we seek to forgive?
Let’s ask God who to forgive.
Then he will remove the weight of unforgiveness that ties us down to resentment, so we can run our race unencumbered.
As we humble ourselves in love, God fills our bag. He fills it so high it brims with his goodness.
We let go of the stronghold we have on the straps, we realize we are strongly held by him. He removes the weight of our straps and lightens our load in his love – to love.
The power of forgiveness is immense. Love transforms, lightens and lifts. Don’t miss the chance to ask God who you need to forgive today. He will pack your bag so full, you will finally see that what he offers is far greater than that ugly bag of junk you have carried around so long.
“…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48
14 CommentsLeave a comment
This is a great reminder for me today. Thank you for posting. Your words are always helpful.
Wonderful Jenny! I am humbled that the Lord uses me in such a way to make a difference. What an honor!
What a beautiful way to say things. You have such a lovely way with words, Kelly. I especially loved this part: “Then he will remove the weight of unforgiveness that ties us down to resentment, so we can run our race unencumbered.” I seek to forgive for that reason — to run unencumbered. Free. Weightless.
I’m so glad to have connected with you online!!
Your sensitivity to the prompting of the Holy Spirit is absolutely beautiful. When you felt prompted to ask who you needed to forgive, you walked in obedience and asked the question. What a wonderful example to others of how to listen to our loving, heavenly Father. Thank you for the reminder of the importance of forgiving others. I love the promise in Acts 3 – forgive, so that “times of refreshing may come from the Lord”. Beautiful!
Isn’t it amazing how Jesus gave forgiveness at the cross and sacrificed for us, but offering forgiveness to others (from us) seems so much weightier and difficult? When we go back to the Truth, we see it is always possible. Thank God! Nice post today, Kelly. #RaRaLinkUp
Thank you Kristi! I pray that the Lord blesses you as you seek to bless others today. He is using you for his glory!
I’m sorry this person you mentioned hurts you over and over, Kelly. That’s rough. Thank you for sharing your experience.
I love your description of forgiveness as “an exchange of our weighted junk for his refreshment.” Weighted junk. So true. Sometimes I think I’ve forgiven my abusers, but then all of a sudden it pops up again, and I again have to forgive. And sometimes I say I forgive, but the weight of it still remains, and I have to beg God to give me a heart forgiveness. It’s so hard sometimes, isn’t it? And (confession here) sometimes I don’t even dare to ask God who I need to forgive as my heart doesn’t even want to go there. My hurt heart doesn’t want to let go of the weight, I guess. Does this make sense?
Awe Trudy. It does make sense. It makes complete sense. When you have been damaged and feel wronged it can be so hard to even feel the feelings again. I understand. It is risky. I love you. God wants to console the deepest areas of your heart – at the right time for you. I love your honesty Trudy. You bless me beyond measure.
People often ask me how I could forgive my husband for his porn use. But the truth is, we couldn’t move forward and toward healing without forgiveness. You are exactly right – the unforgiveness was too much for me to carry – it was something breaking my back and hurting my marriage. When I realized my own deep need for forgiveness from God, it made me much more quick to forgive.
This is beautiful Jen. This is simply beautiful. It can feel so hard to jump over the cliff, but when God catches us with the benefits of forgiveness we are never left the same. I praise Jesus that he did this for you.
Love does transform, lighten, and lift. Excellent reminder to forgive, forgive, forgive. Thank you Kelly
Amen! Thank you Jenny. God has a work to do through the power of forgiveness.
This is such a good word, Kelly. I have to admit I usually wait until I’m feel the burden of unforgiveness before I do anything. Asking God to show me who I need to forgive is something I need to do more often…like daily! Thanks so much, sweet friend. Your words always inspire me!
Thank you Sabra. I am so glad you were inspired. I love hearing from you; I respect you so much.