What Forgiveness is Not.

The word forgiveness, in my own opinion, is the second most overlooked word in English language (right behind love). We often face this word through actions on a daily basis. We forgive the barista who made our coffee wrong. We forgive (and maybe after some repenting) the man/woman who cut us off while we were in a hurry the yellow light on a busy Monday morning. Some of those are quick, mindless, and excusable circumstances on some cases. Then, there are the situations where we allow our hearts to be blocked and choose not to forgive. Maybe your mom or dad walked out on you when you were incredibly young. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend verbally or even physically abuses you, and you feel trapped and afraid to stand up for yourself. On a more serious matter, maybe you have some forgiveness avoidance against Abba Father. Whatever it may be, I am here today to kindly explain not what forgiveness is, but what it exactly isn’t.

  1. Forgiveness is not the absence of anger.

This is crucial to understand in your grievance with forgiveness. God does not want you to be oblivious against “justifiable anger.” We are not expected to feel good about any hurt or bad feelings that has been created in our situations. God wants you to hand it over to Him, not take upon yourself to seek out revenge. He is the one, and the only one, who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23).

2. Forgiveness is not the absence of serious consequences of sin.

Take it from me, my friend, sin is exactly this: “you reap what you sow.” You may think the person or thing that create brokenness in your life will reap goodness, well in fact, they will reap their own punishment. God calls us to be merciful to those who have done us wrong. Take heart, God sees and knows. He will seek judgement on our behalf. He loves us that much. (2 Corinthians 5:10).

3) Forgive even if they are not repenting towards you

This one here, I am still facing until this day. Someone marrying someone you once loved and not confronting you about it nor caring. Having to leave a family and seeing that you truly did not belong and was replaced. Committing a hurtful sin and refusing forgiveness towards yourself. It’s a full circle. God understands we are human. We constantly have to turn to Him when we feel blocked up and ashamed. He carries our burdens, so we don’t get sidetracked towards home. Forgiveness is even more difficult when the other does not want to repent as well. God pours out His heart to fill that hurtful void so we will remember forgiveness first started with Him, because He first loved us. (see Luke 6:27 for forgiving our enemies).

I hope this reading today gives you hope and assurance that forgiveness comes from God, the one who created time and everything under the sun. We must carry our cross and show the world a love that is not of it. Forgive an enemy today, even if its your own self.

“As We Forgive Our Debtors.”

“For is you forgive men for their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive them, then your Heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

Last month, I was really stumped with emotions. The full time job I signed onto caused me a great deal of stress, to the point my health was being affected. For the past few years I have been dealing with a great deal of pain on the top of my right rib. I was working my first job right after high school at a coffee shop when I realized it was time to start the closing procedures. I finished resetting the cash register and ran to the back to grab my items when I completely disregarded the bold black letters on the yellow sign, “CAUTION: FLOOR IS WET.” As I glided past the sign, my foot slipped right in front of me and fell right side first onto the concrete floor. Up until this day, I have been to a few doctor’s appointments, one trip to the hospital, and an X-Ray exam. All to find out I have a hairline fraction on the 11th bone. It is not really a big deal, but it made me think and reflect about my body and how to take care of it.

Just like how Jesus wants us to take care of our hearts when He sees damage or pain starting to inflame. Jesus really made me take a step back and examine the word forgiveness. I have done several posts on forgiveness, but I really want to share with all the importance of it, how it affects our lives, and how to react when we are struggling to forgive each other and ourselves.

One statement that I wrote is the utmost important when it comes to forgiveness: our greatest risk when we choose not to forgive = losing heaven.

If we hold fast to an unforgiving spirit, we will be handed over to our tormentors. We will lose heaven and gain hell. “Forgive each other just as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

Here are 4 reasons to forgive and how it will affect your life and relationship with Christ:

  1. Resist Thoughts of Revenge: Never take revenge, but leave room for the wrath of God. When we try to get even out of spite, we dishonor God and create a longer distance to the path of forgiveness. The enemy loves when we take our pain into our own hands because that is how he will use them to only destroy. Leave your ill will where it should go, at the root of the cross. Let God handle the other person they only way possible. Begin to pray for that individual and start the process of reconciliation. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” Says the Lord. Romans 12:19.
  2. Don’t seek mischief: This ties along for the number one reason. We think getting back by spreading rumors, spatting out a few mean texts to get our point across, or jumping into a new friendship/relationship is the answer in hurting that other person. By doing this, we dragging some innocent outsider into our vengeful chaos. Seek the kingdom of God, not the next hateful text that you’re dying to send. “See that no one repays evil with another evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:15. 
  3. Grieve at their calamities: This may be the toughest one yet. God literally want us to pity on those who have betrayed us. When we hear our “enemy” has fallen short or “reaped what they sowed” the first initial action we take is: “YES!” That is not how Jesus wants us to react. There is a famous verse where Jesus says, “if your enemy slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other.” Basically, when someone we know who has hurt us tremendously, instead of getting glee when the storm crosses their way, we need to love and pray for them. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.” Proverbs 24:17
  4. Pray for them: I have found this from personal experience the most effective way to a path of forgiveness. Last summer my heart took a huge blow when it came to forgiving someone I sadly truly hated. I asked God, “seriously? There is no way I am doing this.” But God pressed more and more onto my heart, so I began first with prayer, then I began to email this person for 10 weeks straight different lessons in the bible. The person was very intrigued and stated he was experiencing the love God had for them. It was a very humbling experience. “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44.

Choosing to forgive shows that God is evident in our lives and that we trust Him.

So the question to ask yourself is: “When do we forgive others?”

The answer is when we strive against all thoughts of revenge. When we will not cause any mischief against our enemies, but instead grieve for them when adversities strike and to wish them well when they are having high peaks in their life. When we begin to pray for them, seek reconciliation, and show ourselves ready on all occasions to relive them. That is what forgiveness looks like.

 

“Pain..and then Gain.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan.

I was thinking back on all of the bad things I have done. Not in my entire life, that would have taken hours. More like the times where I messed up as a young teenager. In this post, I have something very deep to share. It’s very painful, very scary, and I may have a different look from some people. As it says in James 5:16: “confess your sins to one another…” so, here goes nothing. 

It’s been almost five years since I had sex. Yep, I had sex when I was only a junior in high school. I was so distant from God. I became obsessed with sexual sin and the sensation it brought with it. I thought I was “in love”. I thought I had it all figured out. It wasn’t until after I had sex that I realized something: I didn’t have it all. I became dirty.” I remember walking home feeling like the most disgusting person in the world. I was terrified that I may have gotten pregnant. I was ashamed because would if people found out? More importantly though, I didn’t acknowledge this until now: I felt God walking with me, soaking in my shame. I didn’t talk to God about it at all. I became isolated from Him and buried the sin in my heart: “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:3‬ ‭NLT

I remember when the guy I was with broke up with me. I painfully and regretfully remember how I acted towards him. My whole attitude shifted into evil and hatred. I spoke vile words against him, I became forceful as to why he was leaving my life. I felt that apart of me was stripped away. ‬‬I remember coming home from school, with my face all blotchy because I cried my eyes out. I remember going to my back yard, raising my fists to God and would scream at Him asking why this was happening. I didn’t know this at the time but, God was a saving me. He was bringing me back into His place. He was having me go through pain. I sure felt the pain alright. I felt so broken. I felt like what was the point of living. Why was I here? Would I ever find someone again? I thought that person I was with was the only thing I had. Turns out I was wrong. I had to let the pain run its course: “Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:4‬ ‭NLT

I remember going to church one night, looking at all my friends. I had a smile on, but my insides were shattered. I was very nauseas. I knew I had to confess. I knew I needed to tell someone what I did. The guilt was eating me alive. I listened to the message and afterwards, one of the elders came to me knowing I had something to confess. He pulled me aside and asked: “Melodie, did you commit something you know was wrong?” I told him that I had sex with that person. I let out so many sobs and hugs that night, but that was the first time I felt lifted. I went home that night and got on my knees. Instead of raising my fists in anger, I had them open with praise. I confessed to God what I did and He set me free. I knew that I was on a road to healing: “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You see, God doesn’t look at us for our sin. He doesn’t justify it and say, “you messed up for the last time. I’m done with you.” Thank goodness for that. He didn’t abandoned me when I committed premarital sex. He stood by me. He waited until I confessed. He had me go through pain in order to gain strength, love, and forgiveness again. He will do the same for you. Just surrender.