“Here is yourFWF prompt… I found this quote yesterday and posted it to my Facebook page. I liked the snarky feel of it and so did a lot of others. So I thought it would make for a great prompt! Here is your opportunity to vent. A chance for you to ‘write the wrongs’. Share a time that you have felt wronged or treated unfairly, either by way of a situation or another person.”
When I saw this week’s prompt, I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I think it would take me days and days to write all of the wrongs in my life. I could write several books about those wrongs — maybe even several volumes. Shoot — I could probably write a library of the wrongs in my life!
But what would that accomplish? If I write the wrongs in my life, would it right the wrongs? I don’t think so.
If I write the wrongs in my life, would it help anyone? Would it make anyone else feel better? Would it make anyone happy? Would it change the course of history? Probably not.
If I write the wrongs in my life, will the ones who wronged me be sorry? Will they even know I’m talking about them if I don’t use their names? Will they even remember wronging me? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
If I write the wrongs in my life, will it bring me joy? By writing the wrongs in my life and thereby hurting the wrongdoers, will it bring them or me peace? By writing the wrongs in my life, am I seeking vengeance? By writing the wrongs in my life, do I become like those who wronged me?
I wasted many years of my life living and reliving the wrongful, hurtful things that were done to me throughout my life, and do you know what it got me? Pain… and more pain.
You see, the more you dwell on the wrongs that have been done to you, the more you become entangled in them. When your focus is on your pain, every movement you make causes more pain, and each time you relive that pain, the wound is ripped open again, so that it never has a chance to heal… and as that wound continues to fester within you, it becomes infected, and that infection then begins to spread into other areas of your life, infecting them as well. Before you know it, other relationships become contaminated, and you are unable to fully trust and fully love…
Beloved, I don’t want to be tormented by the wrongs that have been done to me. Therefore, I choose to right the wrongs in my life…
I choose to forgive those who have hurt me…
I choose to love my enemies and bless those who curse me…
I choose to turn the other cheek…
I choose to think about the good things in life, rather than the wrongs…
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
I was thinking about the post I did a couple of days ago on forgiving, and the Lord reminded me of a poem that I wrote back in 1997 when I began my journey of forgiveness. I pray that it ministers to those of you who may be finding it hard to forgive…
Just when I thought my life was over,
When I thought the pain would never end,
Just when I thought, “I just can’t bear it!”
You came and whispered to me, “Come, you who are weary and heavy burdened… I will give you rest.”
I knew that I wasn’t worthy.
I knew I’d never deserve it.
I’d seen too much, done too much and suffered too much
To ever receive such an offer
Of healing and love and hope from above,
But all that I needed was faith…
“For we walk by faith, not by sight…”
I live by faith in my Lord, Jesus Christ.
“I’m unclean, no good, different!” I cried,
As my shame and my fear held me hopelessly bound. “Don’t be afraid,” You spoke, “You won’t suffer shame. Don’t fear disgrace, humiliation is not for you. I’ll make you forget the shame of your youth,”
You promised, and I knew it was true.
I’ve struggled for years with the rage in my heart,
Till You spoke, “Cease from anger… Don’t fret.” “Lord, I don’t think that I can.” “Trust Me, do good… I will establish your steps… When you fall, I’m the One who is holding your hand.”
“Lord, the pain if I face it Could drive me insane, And the tears, once they’ve started May never stop.” “Be still, your tears in My bottle I’ve kept. A diary I’ve written keeps track of those tears.”
“And if my father and mother forsake me?” “I’ll take you up.” “Heal Me, Lord Jesus” “Forgive them,” You said. “But they nearly destroyed me! They used me, abused me! They blamed me and shamed me! I can’t forgive them, Lord don’t even ask it! You know I’m not able, Lord, I just can’t!”
“I’ll help you, My child, and you will be blessed, For the mercy you give will be paid back in full.” “Lord, please give me peace, Let me know that You’re near!” “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything pray, Give thanks, make your requests known to God. And His peace which surpasses all comprehension, Shall guard your heart and your mind through Me, Christ Jesus, your Lord.”
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15NLT)
What a powerful word Jesus spoke here. Did you pick up on the fact that God’s forgiveness is conditional? Don’t let anyone ever try to tell you that forgiveness is unconditional, because it isn’t. If I want to be forgiven, I must first forgive those who have hurt me. And get this – Jesus doesn’t say just to forgive those who committed a little sin against you. Oh no – He said that if I refuse to forgive others, my Father won’t forgive my sins… Are you catching this? That means I am required to forgive everyone… even the ones who have damaged me the most by their sins against me.
Do you ever wonder what in the world Jesus could be thinking? This was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn. How do you forgive the one that you loved and trusted, the one you called “Daddy” for stealing your innocence? How do you forgive the one you loved and trusted to protect you, the one you called “Mommy” for not only failing to protect you, but for turning a blind eye to the abuse and making it clear that she did not want to know about it?
And yet, if I wanted to be forgiven, how could I not forgive? Have any of you ever struggled with forgiveness? Have you ever wondered how a holy and just God, a righteous God could allow you to be hurt, and then expect you to forgive your perpetrator, even though your perpetrator never repents? If so, my beloved, it’s no accident that you are visiting this blog at this time, and reading these words.
My friend, please allow me to share with you, because I know what it’s like to be bound, chained and trapped in unforgiveness. I know how deep the pain of unforgiveness goes, until it takes root in bitterness, and I don’t want you to suffer a minute longer than you already have. In Jesus’ name, I want you to be free of unforgiveness, free from the pain and suffering, free to be forgiven.
Please allow me just a few minutes to talk to you about forgiveness and unforgiveness, so that you can see the advantage of forgiving, and so that you can know how to forgive. First, let’s slay some myths about forgiveness:
If I forgive, it’s like saying that what happened to me didn’t matter… This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Whatever sin and abuse was perpetrated against you did matter. It was wrong because it went against God’s will for both your life and the perpetrator’s life. It was wrong because it damaged you, and God does not want his beloved children damaged or hurt. Beloved, God loves you, and your pain matters to Him. That’s why He has collected every tear you’ve ever cried and kept a record of them.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)
Do not touch these people I have chosen, and do not hurt My prophets.” (Psalm 105:15 NLT)
If I forgive, then that person gets away with what he/she did to me… Again, this is another deception from the enemy, to keep you bound up by your pain and your unforgiveness. Don’t forget that we serve a righteous and holy God. Even if the person never repents and never asks for your forgiveness (like my stepfather), they still have to live with themselves and they still have to face Almighty God, our Father.
Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NLT)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NLT)
If I forgive the person who hurt me, he/she may think that what they did to me was ok… Beloved, he/she may feel justified for what they did to you anyway, if they even bother to think about it. Regardless of whether they feel guilty or ashamed of what they did to you, your unforgiveness is hurting you much more than it is hurting them. You see, as long as you refuse to forgive the person for hurting you, it’s as though you are handcuffing yourself to him/her, and you can’t get away from him/her, can’t stop thinking about him/her and can’t stop thinking about what they did to you. So, in reality, my beloved friend, you are the only one suffering for the crime committed against you. Don’t you want to be free?
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NASB)
I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. (Psalm 119:45 NLT)
If I forgive this person for what he/she did to me, it will be like I’m saying it never happened… Oh beloved, that is not true at all. When I forgave my stepfather, I told him what he had done to me, and how it had affected the rest of my life, and as I forgave him, I told him what I was forgiving him for… Both he, my mother, my husband and my sister were present as I listed each thing that I forgave him for. There was no denying what he had done to me, and the same was true for my mother. I told her what I was forgiving her for, and how it had hurt me and impacted my life. Don’t you see? The Lord knows the truth, and the people involved may try to deny what happened (my stepfather tried to blame me for his sin), but I refused to accept his blame. Just because someone tries to give you a gift (in my case it was the gift of blame and shame), doesn’t mean that you have to accept it. The Lord knows what happened, and He wants to restore you to wholeness.
Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy. (Isaiah 61:7 NLT)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NKJV)
Beloved, this word that Jesus delivers about forgiveness is not so much for your perpetrator’s benefit as it is for yours. You see, He wants you to be free, whole and healthy. He wants you to abound in joy, but it’s impossible to do that as long as your wounds keep getting ripped open by bitter memories and unforgiveness.
The Lord is saying to you, “Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” (Isaiah 52:2 NKJV) Beloved, as you read this scripture aloud, put your name in the place of Jerusalem… (i.e. – I would say, “Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Cheryl! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!”) Memorize these scriptures, because there is healing in them.
Forgive, my beloved, so that you can be free. Forgive, so that you can be forgiven. Forgiving doesn’t come natural to us. It is normal for our flesh to want revenge, but don’t allow yourself to go there, because the only one who will end up being destroyed is you.
Ask the Lord to help you forgive. He said if you ask anything according to His will (and forgiveness is certainly His will for us) that He will give it to you. Beloved, I’m praying for everyone who reads this post, that the Lord will help each one to forgive, so that you too may be forgiven. And now, may the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. 🙂