Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Go here for more in this series of 31 Days brave

just a side note....this post is for the norm situation not the extremes such as abuse or molestation. That would require much more than just a process! 

Forgiveness it is a powerful word of action. I believe it is an action that we do not give enough attention to in the church. I know the typical scriptures are quoted and the stories we have all heard before. For some reason I believed that forgiveness should come easy and be natural. After all we are Christians, right?

Let me back up a bit. I grew up in a very conservative church and background. I always thought forgiveness meant the offender says sorry and it is done, you forgive! Easy peasy! Then I would struggle with those hurt feeling still swirling around in my heart and head. Not good. So, I thought well I did not really forgive them! I am sinning! I need to fix this. Then I would wonder "where is the natural part in this process? Sure doesn't feel natural."  I thought the process of forgiving the person was completely on me! Such a wrong outlook. No body's fault in particular. They were teaching what they believed to be truth.

Fast forward many years later and a lot of experience, forgiveness looks different. More wisdom and understanding of the truth. Obviously more maturity on my part! God does call us to forge. In Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  We know from this scripture that we are to forgive since He forgave us. How do we forgive? I believe that is the pressing question concerning forgiveness. When we choose(key word) to verbally say to someone "I forgive you" we must trust that God will complete the work in our hearts. It really is not in our nature to forgive. It goes against it. So we rely on faith to forgive. We have faith that God will continue to work on our hearts and complete the circle of forgiveness. Did you catch that? It is a circle. Think about it. The person approaches you to make the wrong right. They ask for forgiveness. You give it. Then God continues to do the work in both your hearts so when you come back around again you are stronger. Stronger in your faith and relationship. God is the head and center of the circle. He reaches back to you, to them and to each other. All through Him. Is this resonating with you? 

There are many myriad's of forgiveness. Some situations are very cut and dry. It was simple mistake and now it is past. Others go much deeper. Depends on the offense. Take the sin gossip. Your friend gossips about you behind your back. You are able to forgive but your heart is still healing. After much time and prayer you discover that your trust as mended. Therefore the completion of forgiveness has occurred. You may not forget the situation but you don't dwell on the matter. That is when you know forgiveness has gone deeper. Take the offense of cheating. This situation entangles more hearts and will take longer to mend. The actual words "I forgive you" come out of your mouth and that starts the process of acknowledging your hurt. The part of forgiveness that needs to be worked on is the part of trust. Do you see that? Trust is part of that circle of completion. Why wouldn't be? Have you thought about it?

Stop for minute. Think about it like this:

an offense happens
the parities involve ask for forgiveness
you verbally forgive
through prayer you ask God to work on your heart
God goes deeper
Your trust starts to mend back to that person
You start to feel freedom in your heart(no anger, bitterness, resentment or hurt)
God again goes deeper
Trust is building more and more each day
You pray
God goes deeper again
You start to feel that you want to be around that person
Forgiveness in your heart grows

and so get the point. Look at it. Really look at it! It really isn't as simply saying "I forgive you" in most situations. There is a process. I often think of forgiveness like a cork screw. It twines, goes in a little, then a little more, maybe a long pause, it twines down deeper, then a little more, maybe a short pause and so on. Just because you have had a conversation with someone about the wrong doing does not mean the conversation is done or that you are done. Sometimes another conversation has to take place. Sometimes you have to let it breath. Often it is best to let it breath for  a bit. Pray, regroup, pray some more and ask God to show you. It is okay to tell that person "hey, I need to take a step back. Let me pray over this matter. I want to understand it fully. Can we put a pause on it?" Anyone who really loves and respects the friendship will do that for you and for themselves. When we do take a pause sometimes God reveals to us the underlying truth and that is when you can begin to understand why the offense happened in the first place. Obviously this is not the case for most. Most times it is easy as "I forgive you" and you heart is ready. Others require more work. That is okay too.

Another part to forgiveness is YOU. Yes, I mean you. It will set your heart and mind free when you choose to forgive that person. Philippians 1:6 states, And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day Christ Jesus returns. We are part of that completion of forgiveness. Forgiveness breaks the chains we hold and extends a bridge to the hearts that once were broken.

Today, Brave means learning to forgive but also recognizing it is a process. Some situations it may take a quick "I forgive you" and others need a little more tending to.

What has been your experience with forgiveness on both ends? 


  1. The big breakthrough about forgiveness for me came with parable about the man who was forgiven much but then wouldn't forgive someone who owed him a little. I realized that no matter what anyone else did to me, it could not compare with my sin against God, and I forgive on the basis of His forgiveness of me.

    I can see that restoring trust is a part of the process but I can think of some cases where I don't know if it would be - like with abuse or molestation. Sometimes part of the process is forgiving that person for an incident but realizing they have an underlying problem for which you both need to take precautions.

    1. ..Okay take 2 on commenting back...ha! I agree with what you are saying about abuse and other extreme situations. Which is why I believe my post focuses on the norm and not the unique rare situation that requires way more than just a process. I completly get it because I know that situation very well. The extreme that is. thanks for stopping by! ;0)

  2. This is a tough topic for me. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I believe I have forgiven the abusers even though they don't admit their crimes, but at the same time I have chosen to keep my distance from them to keep from being re-victimized. If they someday take responsibility that might change. For me the key to forgiveness is about not wishing ill on anyone. I pray for their hearts and salvation, just as I pray for my own and those I am physically with. Good post.

    1. Totally understand Melanie! I too was a victim. I have come on the other side of it. I believe it to be very healthy to say good bye to some relationships. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. You're right on. I used to think the same thing about forgiveness - that someone said "I'm sorry," and that was the end of the story.

    Then someone explained to me that forgiving was a matter of choice, that when someone asks forgiveness, you choose to forgive, meaning you won't hold the offense against the person any longer. Then you trust God to work it all out in your heart.

  4. Forgiveness is imperative and you are SO right... the trust part is what really causes us to have to go to the next level. I enjoyed this post. very encouraging!

  5. Forgiveness is challenging, as you mentioned. One of the hardest parts of forgiveness that I encounter is forgiving someone can sometimes feel like you are saying what they did was okay. I know that is not what God means by forgiveness. We forgive so Christ's love has an opportunity to shine through in us. He alone has the power to judge. Thank you for the great post.

  6. I heard this recently, "If you think you've forgiven someone and haven't forgotten it then you haven't forgiven." Good post with lots of food for thought!

  7. First, love this post, and your series topic! <3
    Secondly, you won the Mercy House giveaway that you entered on my blog - would you mind emailing me your address ( so I can get that sent your way? :)