Pink & Blue Mummyland

Pink and blue parenting through pink and blue moods….

From Unforgiveness to Freedom

on January 30, 2014

20140120-131612.jpg

In the Lord’s Prayer (in Matthew 6), Jesus introduces the concept that, if we don’t forgive, we can’t be forgiven, and it is on this premise that Sheila Walsh continues her journey of discovering the truth of who we are, in the chapter three of the Storm Inside: Navigating Treacherous Waters.

I’ve had a few things in my life recently that have challenged my thinking on forgiveness. I’ve always thought that the things in my that I have to work on forgiving are the big things – those things that anyone could see were hugely damaging. But recently I’ve been challenged in other areas – those things that other people might not even see but still deeply hurt. The other week, someone from church said something about me that wasn’t true – and didn’t say it to me, but to someone else who shared it with me later. The real challenge here was that it was someone I considered a friend. This hurt hugely and is made more complicated by the lingering thought – if she said it to someone once, how many times has it been said to people who weren’t brave enough to let me know? I know that this is something I need to forgive, but I’m finding it hard to let go of – the hurt feels like a betrayal, and I find myself paranoid about what other people are thinking. If I’m honest, I know I’m living in a state of unforgiveness and struggling to move on.

The good news here is that ongoing forgiving and forgiveness is not a salvation issue. Once we’re God’s children, we are guaranteed our room in Heaven, and nothing can change that. Forgiveness isn’t a Heavenly issue – it’s a worldly issue, something we have to deal with in our everyday life.

Sometimes, the things that bind us feel unforgivable. We struggle and strain under the weight of them, because they are so huge and life changing that we cannot see any way of ever forgiving the person who has wronged us. And you won’t hear me saying that it is easy, or that those things don’t matter. People can do horrible, damaging things, and you will never hear me or God saying that that’s ok. Or Sheila Walsh – she says, “Forgiveness is not about removing someone’s liability, but about setting our own hearts free.” (p51, italics mine). It’s also not about forgetting what someone has done, or saying it doesn’t matter, or saying that the perpetrator doesn’t have to accept the consequences of their actions. People hurt us, it’s true, but I agree with Sheila here – “I hold it all in one hand…and the cross of Christ in the other. Without that there would be no forgiveness and no mandate to forgive” (p49)

Forgiveness is about freedom. Unforgiveness binds us up inside so we can’t run free with Christ. Unless we forgive we cannot live free, and if we aren’t living free of what we have need to forgive, we can’t experience the freedom of having been forgiven. That sounds like a bit of a tongue twister, so let’s boil it down: The cross is all about freedom, and freedom is all about the cross! And that doesn’t only count in a personal way. Continuing from her thought about setting our own hearts free, Sheila brings our attention to a bigger truth – “Satan has nothing in his arsenal to combat forgiveness!” (p51). Forgiveness is our biggest and most effective weapon in the spiritual battle we fight each and every day.

After thinking on such a grand scale, my concern about hurtful comments made about me seems trivial. But nevertheless, they stop me living in close communion with God, and, if left to fester, will begin to control me. I can either chose to let that continue, or I can choose to forgive, set myself free from the hurt and paranoia, and let my character be shaped the perseverance it takes to follow God’s way even when we don’t feel like it. It’s not fair, but I don’t have to let that keep me from the freedom of knowing God and living by his commands. As a last quote from The Storm Inside: “Forgiveness is God’s gift to us in a world that’s not fair.” (p48)

image

Advertisements

One response to “From Unforgiveness to Freedom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: