I love the comments and emails I received on the "Forgiving and Forgetting" post I wrote a couple of days ago. It's funny that one of my comments refers to the book The Shack by William P. Young and I just so happen to be reading that book. It has taken me longer than normal to finish because it is really challenging me in a lot of my thoughts about God and how much I still live in wonder and always will about His ways (until Heaven of course).
Last night I picked up the book up to try and finish the last few chapters, and guess what topic the chapter I was reading was dealing with? Yep, forgiveness. I love the way it was presented by God to the character in the story. It really made me look at forgiveness in a new light.
Some of my favorite quotes the author used in explaining forgiveness are:
"Forgiveness is first for you, not the forgiver to release you from something that will eat you alive, that will destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly."
"Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat."
"Forgiveness does not excuse anything."
"...forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them form judgement, but without true change, no real relationship can be established. "
There is so much more, but aren't you intrigued and impressed with these statements? I was very excited that God personally spoke to me about this through this book, but I'm more interested in God's scripture and His ways of healing the heart through forgiveness.
I woke up in the middle of the night, as I often do when God needs me to listen to something I've been struggling with, and things just started to click. I needed to forgive some things I wasn't even aware of that were interfering with my relationship with God. I said it out loud and declared it. I do forgive even if I can still remember the hurt. I also asked God to help bring to mind any thing that I need to ask forgiveness for too. Unfortunately, that was a list a little too long to deal with in one evening. I did the best I could, and I have a feeling there will be opportunities throughout the day that will remind me of other areas I need to work on. I love that our God is able to wash away the sins, the pain, and the guilt for all of us.
May you find peace and blessings through forgiveness today. God is ready and always there to hear our prayers. Just let him in.