Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Consider This

I don't have a lot to share today, but I heard a quote from a fellow in our small group last night that will simply not leave my brain. I think it's profound and we all decided that there is enough in this one statement that it could be a sermon. Our small group discussion time was awesome last night; I appreciate the honest sharing from each person.

Consider this:
"Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past."

Some of my thoughts about this quote:
  • I don't know that I would say "giving up all hope," but to me it means accepting that we cannot change the past or a decision no matter how much we would like to.
  • The "different past" could be my own decisions and sin, but it could also be the actions, words, and sin of another who hurt me. No matter how much I wish that person wouldn't have said this, done that, or hurt me in whatever way, it is what it is. I am doing myself no favor by holding on to unforgiveness - hoping for a different situation to have occurred.
  • As has been said, "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die." It doesn't work that way, when we don't forgive, we are the one that whithers and dies.
  • Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. I know there are things in my past that I would love to go back and do over (responded differently, chosen better, not done, etc...), but I need to give up all hope of having done something differently and choose to forgive myself. If I say I accept God's forgiveness after confessing and repenting of my sin, I am, in a sense, turning my back on His gift if I don't forgive myself.
  • I can't move forward in life unless I deal with areas of unforgiveness towards myself.
  • And concerning unforgiveness towards others: even if a person(s) doesn't ask for forgiveness or acknowledge how they have hurt or damaged me or a relationship, I can make a choice to release them from my desire for justice. It does me no good to spend my time and life hoping that they will own up to their part in a hurtful situation. If I choose to forgive, I give myself permission to move forward. I will allow God to deal with that individual or persons, and even if I don't see any movement on their part towards accepting their part in a situation, I can be free from obsessing on the fact that I was wronged/hurt/etc...
  • Forgiveness can sometimes be a process. We must make A CONSCIOUS CHOICE to forgive, and then when our emotions bring that situation back to mind with all those same, old feelings, we can CHOOSE AGAIN to forgive. We may have to do that many times at first, but as God allows us to experience His forgiveness immediately each and every time we need it, we can learn and move towards those times being farther and farther apart when those feeling rear their ugly heads.
Okay, forgiveness is a big, ol' subject, and I didn't start this post to address every issue regarding the topic, but I did want you to ponder my friend's statement:

"Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past."

1 comment:

Denissa said...

Wow, is I can say! A lot to think about.
Thanks for sharing :)