Psalm 86:5New International Version (NIV) 5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call on you.
How easily we can forget to forgive the little things that happen in life. The biggies are always on our minds and tend to stick around long enough to begin with, but those little things that can be buried and then resurface one day could potentially end up having a more severe impact. You wouldn't think so, would you?
I try so hard to immediately forgive when I think that a wrong has been done to me. It could be completely unfounded, but if I feel that I've been wronged then there is something that needs my attention. When I have let little things sit and just fester, unknowingly fester sometimes, they tend to pop-up when least expected. And when I step out of the moment and take a look at what is moving me to anger or resentment, it amazes me how (in tracing things back) something that I would scoff at being an issue actually was the seed that festered and then turned into a jungle-sized series of issues.
One thing that I have learned in my 30+ years is that it is so vital to forgive immediately! Does it hurt the person that may or may not have wronged you? No.
Forgiveness is actually a practice that God wants us to do so that we don't hurt ourselves. We are the one that end up hurting, angry, resentful or seeking revenge. The other person may not even know that there are those feelings stirring. They may be going along in life all hunky-dory...which then ends up pouring fuel all over the situation in our minds.
Forgiveness frees us from all of those feelings. It allows us to continue in life without something pulling on our attention and giving relationships negative energy & actions. Without forgiveness it is very easy for bitterness to settle in and make it's home in your heart.
People who live a life filled with bitterness tend to have a number of health issues...and typically their heart is the main organ affected. Really, is there anything that anyone has done that makes it a good thing for one's heart to be sick? It's just not worth it!
"Oh you must not have had a serious wrong done to you."
Uh, yeah...a pretty serious one that is extremely personal. And yet after 10 years of allowing it to have a negative impact on my life, I called up the individual and addressed the issue. God had allowed me to come in contact with them a week prior to this...HE knew that I was going to need that phone number.
I wasn't looking for an apology. I was looking for freedom from the past. It was my opportunity to let that person know that my life had paid a price and that despite all the things I had gone through and felt in those years, I forgave them. They didn't need the forgiveness...I needed to release it.
Since that moment, I can look back and not have any negative feelings. Not one. There is a sigh, if you will, that comes over me...a peace. It's amazing and I believe that it is God's grace over my life. But oh, just to be freed of the past...free from pestering thoughts or memories...Free! There is nothing like it.
If you have things that have haunted you for days, weeks, months or even years...Let Them Go! Even if you can't say it to someone's face or over the phone, just say it out loud. Ask God to heal what has been hurt or wronged in your life. Stop allowing whatever it is to have any power in your life. He'll help you do it. You just have to allow Him to.
Forgiveness is something that I have to practice constantly in my marriage too. I have watched as people hold onto little irritations and allow them to grow until they can't stand to be in the same room as their spouse. It's so easy to do...and it's so destructive in a marriage. There are things that my husband does that absolutely drive me up the walls...and I know that he could say the same about me. But in letting go and forgiving, even without saying so to him, I find that I will focus on the good traits that God has put within him. Those are the things that I need to focus on to keep our in a state of loving and not resenting.
And once you forgive, don't start dwelling on thoughts or trying to take that forgiveness back. Remember, forgiveness brings you freedom. That thing that you let go of can only bring negativity into your life. It is a lesson that I am also teaching to my girls...so that they will learn young to let go of things that will only hurt their lives.
God forgives us and showers us in love. And once He forgives, it is as far as the East is from the West...they never touch. It goes on forever.