Yes forgiveness is a mountain. I think that anyone who has been hurt and had to forgive someone can relate to this. When the need to forgive someone was looming right in front of me it looked just like the picture to your left. Like Mt. Fuji. Looking at Mt. Fuji from a distance and thinking about climbing it looks like an almost impossible feat to even attempt. It looks like failure to me before I even start. Well, that is how I viewed forgiving the people who had hurt me.
Forgiving them seemed like a very impossible situation and a complicated process. A process that I could not possibly learn how to conquer or surmount. I had read my Bible, I knew what it said. I knew the verses very well. The verses in Matthew 6 that said:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
And the verses in Matthew 18 where the Apostle Peter asked Jesus the question:
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
I also knew that much of Jesus ministry had focused on forgiveness. On Him forgiving and restoring us to a right relationship with Him as well as us taking on the forgiveness of those who had hurt us in ANY way whether large or small; whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Forgiving others was VERY hard for me until I understood just how easy it is. And believe me once I started forgiving and started experiencing the freedom that came with the process of forgiving others it is something that has become very necessary in life to continue as a lifestyle. Forgiving others is not just a onetime action. I will reiterate that it is a lifestyle.
Now that I am starting on this subject, I am understanding that the subject of forgiveness is going to take more than one blogging session for me to complete. Just for today as food for thought I am going to compose a list of a few characteristics of what forgiveness may or may not be in your own life. Understanding these things was a key element for me in understanding how simple that true forgiveness is.
- Forgiveness is the key to letting go of your past.
- Forgiveness is not forgetting what someone did to you.
- You do not have to have a feeling of “release” in your heart in order to have truly forgiven.
- Forgiveness is a lifestyle.
- Forgiveness means you no longer keep a record of wrongs.
- Forgiveness is releasing a debt that you think you are owed but still acknowledging your hurt or loss.
- Forgiveness does not mean that you have to put yourself or loved ones in a dangerous position.
- Forgiveness does not mean that you have to trust an untrustworthy person again.
Some characteristics of unforgiveness are:
- Spreading gossip about a person’s sin against you.
- Reliving offenses over and over again.
- Being judgmental
- Being prideful or self-righteous.
- Being defensive, rebellious or critical
When you forgive you are not saying that you have not been hurt or that you approve of the offense or sin committed against you. What the offender did was still wrong and you should not tolerate or overlook the crime or the sin.
I have shared all that I’m going to share for today. Mull this over and in next Thursday’s post I will post a second part to “The MOUNTAIN of Forgiveness”. It will include my own testimony of what I experienced in the process of forgiving my mother.
Forgiveness has been written about a lot and I think it is because it is so vital to living a full life and to recovering from our pasts.
Blessings to you,