We’ve all heard it again and again:
God wants you to forgive.
Forgiveness is about setting yourself free.
Forgive others so God can forgive you.
And we’re intelligent human beings. We know that these things are true. But sometimes, it’s just too big, it’s been too long, or it hurts too much. We want to forgive (except when we don’t). We just can’t.
Sister or Brother, I know how you feel. I’ve been in your shoes. And I am so so sorry for how much you’ve been hurt. I’m so sorry that people you counted on have failed you. I’m so sorry that it seems like even God failed you because He didn’t stop it. While you may not be perfect, you most definitely didn’t deserve it. Not at all. I wanted something so much better for you, and I’m sending you an absolutely gigantic bear hug right now.
When I was a new believer in Christ, one of the first (and MAJOR) things I needed to deal with was unforgiveness. I had it in spades. My spiritual mama taught me that there are 5 steps to forgiveness and they were so helpful in moving my heart in the right direction. Here’s what she said:
Step 1: You know you have to forgive but you still want to kill them.
Step 2: You decide you are going to forgive, but just the thought of the person incites wrath and pain within you.
Step 3: You ask God to step in and help you forgive.
Step 4: You surrender and allow God to help you forgive.
Step 5: God gives you His love for the person and you no longer feel any heaviness or anger when you think about them. (You’ll really know you’ve hit number 5 when you can freely and sincerely pray blessings and healing over them without an inkling of force or bitterness.)
I must have had quite the look on my face, because then my spiritual mama added with a twinkle in her eye— “Sometimes there’s a half step between one and two where you just have to say, ‘Lord, I’m willing to be made willing.’”
Listen, friend, I love you too much to let you stay where you are. You have to move out of complacency with your unforgiveness. I am overwhelmed with grief for your pain and I know this might be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but I entreat you to forgive. Seek peace in your own heart. It’s not good enough to just say, “God loves me where I’m at” and shrug it off.
Jesus was very clear on this point:
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.
To me, this reads as a salvation issue. We HAVE to forgive to receive the forgiveness we need to enter the gates of heaven. You need to start dealing with this right now. Use my spiritual mama’s 5 steps. Tell God you’re “willing to be made willing.” Start somewhere. And if you need more help—message me. I can suggest resources. Or talk to a spiritual leader in your life. Just don’t let unforgiveness continue to fester. There are real consequences.
Additionally, unforgiveness is a HUGE barrier to answered prayer. If you’re praying and nothing is happening, you may be harboring unforgiveness for someone. Is there anyone you have negative feelings toward? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there’s someone you need to forgive and release. Don’t let anything or anyone come between you and your God. <3
Let me pray for you:
Lord, I lift up my sister or brother to you this moment in prayer. I ask that you would help them to feel your presence, perceive your compassion, and receive your overwhelming love right now in Jesus name. I ask that you would help them on their road to healing. Please bring Godly people across their path, that they can relate to and receive from, who will walk alongside them. Lord I ask that you would soften their heart toward their offender. Minister tenderness, love, and mercy to them, and Lord replace their stony heart with a heart of flesh, and their anger and bitterness with your sacrificial love for them, just as you did for me. I pray a special blessing upon my sister or brother and their family this day, and I ask all of these things in the precious name of Jesus. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. Amen.
Be blessed and be at peace, sweet friend.
All my Love,