I’m not sure how my words will find you when you read them, but I pray that they find you well and bring you hope and perspective.
As I pondered God’s leading and commission to write about the subject matter of forgiveness, I’ve been considering how to write about the content of its substance in a way that is helpful and not harmful.
What is forgiveness from the cross? Forgiveness from the cross is forgiveness from a place of affliction. It is forgiveness that allows the will of God to be done in the lives of others. It is forgiveness that allows for the fullness of God’s plan to come together. Jesus states in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing,” and He prays this prayer of forgiveness from the cross as He was being crucified (reference Luke 23:33-49 AMP).
You see, reconciliation is something that can take place within oneself, even if it cannot take place between you and the offender, because one shouldn’t allow unforgiveness to have power over them. One does not have to remain in a state of brokenness, even if the offender doesn’t choose to repair what they have broken. God’s intended state for our lives is wholeness, and we should embrace the fullness of it through the process of forgiveness.
If one truly wants to achieve healing within themselves, they must allow God to heal the wounds, because oftentimes the offender will not take the necessary actions.
Freedom from debt as it pertains to forgiveness is not just for the offender but for the offended as well because there are some debts that you will have to write off, and the reason for doing this is for your own peace, your happiness, and your restoration as a whole; so, forgive, and let the fullness of its measure be from your heart (ref. Matthew 18:23-35 AMP).
Forgiveness is not a tolerance for abusive or repetitive bad behavior but should be viewed instead as a gift and currency from Heaven that should be treasured and never taken for granted; for, to know right from wrong and still do wrong is sin (ref. James 4:17). The currency of forgiveness can bring restoration to the offended and to the offender, and the power of its purpose is meant to bring about healing. Forgiveness has a purpose, so, “if possible, as far as it depends on you, [allow forgiveness to be your measure, and] live at peace with everyone. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21 AMP).
Dear Reader, “be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]” (Romans 12:2b). Trust God even in the most difficult places, because He will see to it that you make it to the destination of His promises. I want you to know that you are not alone, and it is my prayer that this column will make you feel as though you have a place to belong and somewhere to call home.
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P.S., Yours Truly,
The Writer, Seneca Howard
About Seneca Howard
Seneca Howard is a pastor, author, mentor, and motivational speaker who inspires the lives of others through crisis ministry, counsel, and personal development.