I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”
― Khaled Hosseini,
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what that person did was right or that you even have to get back into a relationship with that person. Forgiveness simply releases the debt they owe you so that God can release the debt you owe Him. Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you if there is any unforgiveness blocking His blessing in your life. Ask Him to show you more about this gift of forgiveness so that you can walk in the freedom and victory He has for you today.
― Joel Osteen
The Power of Forgiveness
Thanksgiving Week is upon us.
Families will gather around the table. This often isn’t a picturesque scene from a Norman Rockwell painting or a scene from a Hallmark Movie. Oftentimes, this stirs up faultlines of past hurts, broken trust, or decades of unhealthy relationships.
In a few weeks, my newest book, Overcoming Hurtful Words, finds its ways to bookstores and hopefully, into your hands. Inside are nine practices that introduce the three phases of a heartlifting journey: reflect, reframe and re-author. Written for “the individual,” it is also written for “the family” or “the church” or “the workplace.” A very big part of this heartlifting journey is the power of forgiveness.
As I studied and wrote the hard-to-face truths of forgiveness, peering inside my own grudges and gripes, I came across the powerful teaching of Timothy S. Lane. Inside his booklet, “Forgiving Others,” writes:
“Forgiveness is an act of compassion, love expressed when you are sinned against.When you forgive someone, you absorb the cost of the offense against you. You cancel the debt, and when you do, you make a three-fold promise:
- ‘I will not bring up this offense again or use it against you.’ The only reason to raise the offense with the offender is for the purpose of reconciliation, not vengeance.
- ‘I will not bring it up to others in gossip, or malign you because of it.’ Appropriate counsel may help you handle an offense against you. But we so easily fall into gossip to place all the blame on the other person.
- “‘I will not bring it up to myself and dwell on this offense.’ I will not replay the videotape of your sin to savor every excruciating detail.
Failure to forgive breaks these promises. When we choose not to forgive, we choose to make the other person pay for what he or she has done.”
I know first-hand how hard it is to forgive. BUT, the freedom that comes when we do find our way to forgiveness is worth every tear.
May you find a few quiet moments this week, while preparing your stuffing or special Thanksgiving dish, to pause and reflect and find the power of forgiveness. If you need a little help, please pre-order my book. It will be a great help.