Forgive And Gain Peace
“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
“…and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.” Matthew 6: 12
Forgiveness is a HUGE topic and what we believe and practice concerning forgiveness pretty much impacts our lives every single day. As in all things how we approach forgiveness can either be a major positive force in our lives or a serious negative millstone around our very own necks. I have found the best way to approach forgiveness is direct and head on. For if we do not give our full attention to it…. unforgiveness can blindside us like a runaway freight train and leave us in ruins.
This was my third consecutive fall, winter and spring without a serious PTSD episode. Prior to this positive stretch were 15 years of living hell in those seasons, especially the falls. I am glad to report I haven’t had a significant flashback episode in over three years now. Many factors contributed to my overall positive mental health this season including prayer, counseling, medication, an awesome positive relationship, and depth of fellowship with Christ and His Body. However, perhaps the greatest single factor has been my ability to finally let go of the pain, shame and hate that I have held against my father for his horrific rapes and abuse he inflicted upon me as a child. In short, I just forgave him.
Many times in the last 17 years I thought I had forgiven him, but each time I still held on to minuscule amounts of inner rage and hatred. Letting all that go has lifted a very heavy burden from my life and right now I feel more open and free than I ever have in life. Now when judgement against my father rises within my inner being I choose to forgive again at that very moment and the negative feelings are totally released into the care of God. Because of forgiveness I am now free and the Peace of Christ floods my mind and Spirit and cleanses away all the negative thoughts and feelings related to the abuse. Oh I still have memories, but the memories are now submitted to Christ and no longer hold any power against me.
I seriously questioned the Lord and myself as to why I had not forgiven my father any sooner, and the answer was that I was neither ready or able until recently. These things take time and should not be rushed. In the end it was not at all about my father deserving forgiveness, but rather about me deserving peace. Plus I finally understood that I am affected by the measure that I forgive others. Holding back forgiveness for ANY reason, just holds us back. It does not affect those who sinned against us at all. If I truly forgive as Christ forgave me…it changes my whole universe for the better. Like I said, forgiveness is a HUGE topic and I have only scratched the mere surface of it here today. Give grace, give mercy, give love, give forgiveness, and it changes your whole world. I know my world has been rocked by it for the better. Today I choose to forgive and because of that I am at peace, joyful and well.
Kirk Out !