Welcome to Day Eight in a 31 Day Series
31 Days To Becoming His Pearl
One of the things that I struggled most with for a very long time was extending forgiveness.
It is also something that I believe many others struggle with in relationships too.
Offense is such a trap.
If the enemy can just get us offended, all manner of things can start to take place to unravel God's purposes and plans.
Earlier this year, I was quietly offering things to the Father in prayer.
And He responded in this way.
I want you to forgive this person.
I responded that I had forgiven them.
And He responded in this way.
Say these words....
"They owe me nothing."
I sat there completely stunned. I could not say it.
I had no words. Only tears. Because I could not fully comprehend what He was suggesting.
They owe me nothing?
Not an apology.
Not an explanation.
Not ownership for the wrong doing.
Not remorse or sorrow.
And not even a single attempt to try and make it right on their end.
He was teaching me true forgiveness, that to fully forgive also means this......
They owe me nothing.
So if they never, ever, apologize. Or take ownership. Or try and make it right on their end....
They still owe us nothing.
Because once the offense comes, we can try and forgive but, we can also still feel in our hearts that the person owes us something.
And if we do in fact, have any ought in our hearts and we do in fact, feel that they owe us - anything. We can rest assured that we have not fully forgiven.
Because if we hold onto things and we feel justified and we harbor bitterness and resentment toward a person and try and reconcile it in our hearts that once they apologize and once they fix their mistake or once they are truly sorry....
Then we will forgive them.
And on and on we fill our mental card catalogs with every offense known to man.
This is completely opposite of how the kingdom works.
He asks us to fully forgive anyway.
He knows that holding on to unforgiveness will cause us so much harm.
It will also block our blessings.
Peace. Joy. Happiness. Healing. Mercy and Grace for our own life. And on and on....
Here is the truth....
God wants to right the wrongs. He wants to fight the battles. He wants to be our defender. He wants to make it up to you. He wants to heal our broken places and bind up our wounds. He wants to turn the key to the King's heart on your behalf. He wants to offer us a recompense. One that we've never imagined in our wildest dreams.....
Extending forgiveness to the offender does not mean that what the person did is okay. It is not okay.
It does not mean we are giving them permission to cause harm again. We may need to remove ourselves from this person.
It does not mean that we are in agreement with the offender. We can disagree and still fully forgive.
Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.
It releases us from the bondage of constantly rehearsing the offense over and over again and feeling those bad feelings every time we hear that persons name or every time we see that person.
I want to leave you with this encouragement today....
Look specifically at one tiny word in this verse from Acts 7:9-10
But God was with him AND delivered him out of all his troubles, AND gave him favor AND wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; AND made him governor over Egypt AND all his house.
Here's the thing.
We know that Joseph was wronged and mistreated and even hated by his envious brothers.
But he chose to forgive them anyway. For all of it.
This story is a beautiful picture of what God can do when we truly and fully forgive.
God can do amazing and incredible and big things that are beyond our wildest dreams.
And it's always MORE than one thing.
Look at all that He did for Joseph. God is no respecter of persons.
He wants to use those three little letters in our life too.
What is the "and" you are waiting on in life?
Maybe He is waiting on you.
Maybe He is waiting on you to empty the card catalog you have filed with 35 years of offense- all nicely and neatly categorized- and extend forgiveness.
Maybe He's waiting on you to fully release the person and the offense.
Today is the day to empty that card catalog. There is no need for any of us to waste another precious day offended.
Today, turn to your journal and list the offenses you've been carrying and list those who have caused the offense.
Then try writing these words to Him.
Today I choose to forgive __________ for ____________ and I release them to you Lord.
I ask for forgiveness from You Father, for harboring unforgiveness toward the following individuals.
I ask that you would fill those places in my heart that still ache with pain and sorrow because of the offense, with Your great love and healing power, in Jesus' precious name.
He is faithful to pour out in the most unimaginable ways beautiful friends....
"You intended to harm me, BUT GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. " ~ Genesis 50:20
"And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. BUT GOD was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and made him governor over Egypt and all his house. " Acts 7:9-10