One of the great lessons of Christianity that I have acquired is that it is an ongoing process. Christianity is not an event. It’s not a destination you arrive to. It is continued work that is being performed in you to mold and sculpt you into an earthly image of Christ. God is always processing us. If you encounter a Christian who believes that they are “perfect” with no room to grow or have learned all they need to know about themselves, God, Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. You have just encountered a Christian who is not living in truth. (Philippians 1:6) So as expected God has been processing me because He is always processing me but for the last two months He has been speaking to me about forgiveness. He has been teaching me about forgiveness and its correlation to sustaining love in all relationships.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-5
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged…..
And it keeps no record of wrong…
Forgiveness Principle #1:
When you forgive someone, in order to truly forgive them you must completely forget the wrong against you.
As Christians we are commanded to forgive others as God has forgiven us. (Matthew 6:14, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32) Jesus even commands us to forgive each other seventy times seven times. That doesn’t mean store the transgression in the back of your mind and every time something unfavorable happens with the individual you bring it up. That doesn’t mean cringing in your heart when you see the person but smile and wave because you’re trying to be “Christ like”. That doesn’t mean telling the person you forgive them but building a wall around yourself and your heart, so that you and that person never have the same relationship again. (These are all things I have done and I could go on). When you truly forgive someone you forgive them like God forgives us. When you see them, there is only joy in your heart when greeting them and no hidden malice. You love them like nothing negative has every transpired between you two. Hebrews 8:12, “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” That’s how God forgives us. That’s how we are supposed to forgive each other. When God forgives us of our sins, He literally wipes them from His memory. When He looks at us He sees purity and innocence. You know why? Because He keeps no record of wrong..
Forgiveness Principle #2:
Stop waiting for their downfall and for God to seek His revenge.
Deuteronomy 32:35, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.” Scripture teaches us that we should never retaliate against others for the wrongs that have been committed against us. The scriptures teach that the Lord shall pay back the people who have wronged His people. However God doesn’t want you to sit around waiting to see His power cast upon the person you “forgave”. Secretly hating and waiting for them to “get theirs”. God wants us to forgive, let go and move on with our lives. Stop secretly wishing or waiting for something bad to happen to the person who hurt you. The scriptures say that revenge is the Lord’s but it also states,
Proverbs 24:17, “Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.”
Even finding pleasure in the misfortune of those who have hurt us is evidence of unforgiveness. It is also a sin because there is a law against it. Heart check, then move on with your life and your heart. Completely let go and let God and don’t wait around to witness the pain of those who have caused you pain. In this, you are still a prisoner to their rage.
Forgiveness Principle #3:
Innocent by Association
Very recent, one of my sisters served her fiancé when he was sick. Witnessing this caused me to reflect. It is the simple things that show a person that you love them. You serve them. That revelation made me ponder on my past relational experiences, romantic and friendly. I did not in the past have a heart to serve. If I had a boyfriend who was sick I wouldn’t even go to his house