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The Business of Forgiveness

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If you have relationships with people you will have ample opportunities to give and be in need of forgiveness.  All of these experiences can leave us wounded and we must be vigilant to guard our hearts from bitterness.  Often times those who have wounded us did not do it intentionally or they did it as a result of their own pain and ignorance.

 

I have learned from experience and sincerely recommend that you do yourself a favor and forgive others for your own sake – for your health, happiness and wholeness.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was YOU.” ~ Lewis B. Smedes, author, ethicist, and theologian.

Forgiveness isn’t a favorite topic for most of us, as it tends to bring up unpleasant memories of what we need to forgive.  However this very important topic can’t be overlooked, as unforgiveness will show up in your life in the most unattractive ways.  It will show up in your speech, your attitude and even on your face.  It’s true!  Have you ever seen someone with a scowl on his or her face, mean harsh words or persistent negative attitudes?  Scratch the surface a littler deeper and you’ll most likely turn up the bitter roots of unforgiveness.  Sadly many people like this are stuck on a hamster wheel of pain, anger or distrust, and sometimes suffer ill health as a result.

Extending forgiveness however is a great way to get unstuck and process moments of crisis in a healthy manner.  If you find yourself unable to move forward take time to consider if there are any offenses for which you need to extend forgiveness to others.  Check your heart for any twinges of anger or pain that someone else has brought to you and begin to forgive them.  It isn’t always a one-time event; it is a process that starts with the choice to forgive.  If the anger and hurt return, continue to give it back to God and eventually you will be freed from it.

And most importantly, remember there is no such thing as perfection so be sure to forgive yourself!  You are often your own worst critic and must extend grace to yourself so you can learn from your mistakes and move forward with the wisdom and insight that has been gained from them.  Forgiving yourself gives you permission to move forward and releases you from guilt in order to embrace new things.

Spiritual Perspective: The Message says it like this in Colossians 3:13 – “Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.”  We, who have been forgiven so much, will truly benefit by extending that same forgiveness to others.  Let the process begin by making the “choice” to forgive.  If you find yourself struggling with this, simply ask God to stir up in you the desire to forgive them.  Consider enlisting the help of an accountability partner who will support you and help you follow through with your choice to move forward with forgivness.

After forgiveness has been extended, go the extra mile and pray a blessing over the person, people or situation.  The Bible commands us to leave a blessing behind and it is amazing to see the wholeness and healing that comes as a result of this process.  I have personally been blessed by the freedom I felt after getting down to business and going through the process of extending forgiveness.  Don’t wait any longer, get started today!

I’m committed to helping you honor God and others by making the most of your life.  Understanding your unique personality, values and strengths can help you get on the path of intentional living.  Living with purpose will also help you to improve your relationships through the understanding and awareness you gain about yourself and your life purpose.  You can start your journey now with one of my Clear Life Purpose ™ Coaching Programs – don’t put it off any longer get started now!

Truth For Your Life:  Who do you need to forgive?  Whose face comes to your mind and brings a twinge of anger or resentment? Do you have anger toward yourself that needs to be released?  Are you ready to let go of your right to be angry and trust God to deal with those who have offend and wounded you?  How have you felt after extending forgiveness in the past?

*Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson.

© Copyright 2010 Bridget Haymond.  All rights reserved.

© 2010 Bridget Haymond ~ Identifying and igniting your gifts and strengths for a life of passion and purpose www.BridgetHaymond.com

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5 Responses to The Business of Forgiveness
  1. Jeannette
    October 14, 2010 | 2:35 pm

    Great post! You are right, forgiveness is not a favorite topic , but one that we should reflect on regularly in order to stay healthy in all areas of our life.

    • Bridget Haymond
      October 14, 2010 | 3:12 pm

      You make a great point about needing to do this on a regular basis!

      Thanks for stopping by Jeannette.

  2. Tracy
    October 14, 2010 | 12:03 pm

    I know first hand about being a prisoner, I also know that in my own life when I was not able to forgive God knew my heart but also understood my limits so without my help he gave me what I needed to heal wounds and relationships. The other people didn’t need to be involved in the process but now that the healing has happened those people are very much a part of my life. It’s amazing how we think unforgiveness hurts the other person, we really are the ones in bondage. Life is sweeter when God takes over and you open your heart to trust what His plan is. Not all forgiveness can lead to realtionships with those that have grieved us but in my case it did and it’s been amazing, especially when I thought death one day would be the only way to relieve the hurts. God way was so much better.

    • Bridget Haymond
      October 14, 2010 | 3:38 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience, as I know it will bless and encourage others tremendously!

      Blessings to you Tracy!

  3. janemyatt
    October 13, 2010 | 7:28 pm

    Thanks for the nuggets of wisdom in this post, Bridget. I found a recent message by @PastorMark "10 Things That Forgiveness is Not" to be very helpful. Among other things, he says: "Repentance takes one. Forgiveness takes one. Reconciliation takes two." http://bit.ly/bHLqjd