Archive for January, 2012

Are You Wounded with Unforgiveness?

Are you Wounded with Unforgiveness?

It is very easy to become wounded in this world that we live in.  Woundedness is created from a betrayal of trust and from the lies that the enemy plants in how we view that action.  Did you know that satan wants to steal (our peace), kill (our faith and love), and destroy us?  His best work is done through others close to us in positions of trust and that means family, friends, bosses, co-workers and acquaintances.  Most of us trust someone, at least a little, when we first meet them.  People can then earn our trust and enter our inner circle of our life and emotions or remain arms length.  Sometimes we are too trusting and we get hurt by the people that we love and respect and satan uses these opportunities to pollute our minds and distort the meaning and importance of what really happened. Believe me, I know how painful this is!

Remember that the world teaches us to get even with them or tell them exactly what is on our mind.  It is in these moments that we can chose to ACT rather than REACT.  Have you ever watched in horror as your mouth detaches from your body and goes on a rampage? And then we are left embarrassed and convicted to apologize no matter how deserving the flesh says the recipient was to receive the “truth”.  I will be the first to apologize when  I know I have hurt someone and it is always with my heart in my hand, a lump in my throat and my pride at my feet!  What if we could recognize the moment of the pain for what it really is – an attempt by the enemy to get us to act unlovingly to one of Gods children?  I have great news for you – we can learn to recognize the tactics of the enemy and ACT on those actions rather than react.  Let me put this to you another way.  How do you feel when someone laughs at you when you do something silly and I do not mean jokingly or on purpose?  You feel embarrassed, humiliated, angry and hurt.  Well guess what?  Every time we allow satan to get his way he is the one laughing at you!  He gets his way when we are hurt and he can make us act vindictive, mean, disrespectful and unforgiving.  Stop letting him have the upper hand and take an inventory of the garden of your heart.  Search out the root of bitterness and the weeds of hate and anger and pull them out!

I know that many of us have had hurts that we bury in our heart garden thinking that we have forgiven only to find that root of bitterness sprouting up again when we are near the person that hurt us or we even hear their name.  I love the book “Choosing Forgiveness – Your Journey to Freedom” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.   She states, “..often we can’t see it (bitterness), even when it’s there.  How can you tell?  For starters, see if you relate to any of these statements:

  • I often replay in my mind the incident(s) that hurt me.
  • When I think of a particular person or situation, I still feel angry.
  • I try hard not to think about the person, event or circumstance that caused me so much pain.
  • I have a subtle, secret desire to see this person pay for what he or she did to me.
  • Deep down in my heart, I wouldn’t mind if something bad happened to the person(s) who hurt me.
  • I often find myself telling others how this person has hurt me.
  • A lot of my conversations revolve around this situation.
  • Whenever his or her name comes up, I am more likely to say something negative than something positive about him or her.

I must admit that this checklist was very convicting to me personally.  I thought that I had forgiven the person that hurt me but I saw myself saying negative things about them and retelling the story of my hurt to others.  Thankfully, my eyes were opened to my buried root of bitterness so that I can dig it out of my heart and fill in the space with fertile God soil.  Take a few moments and look over these questions, ask God to show you whose root of bitterness you have buried in your heart and ask him to bless that person and help you heal your heart!  You may need to go over this checklist many times, but the Holy Spirit will reveal the root(s) and help you heal the wound so that you can continue in obedience, peace and joy!


Forgiveness and the Benefits

Forgiveness and the Benefits of Forgiving

The Oxford Dictionary defines to “forgive” as to no longer feel angry about or wish to punish another for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

The world (and, probably predictably, Satanic literature) teaches us to do unto others not as you would have them do unto you, but as they actually do to you. Thus, if a person treats you with kindness, the world would say to go ahead and treat them kindly.  But if a person treats you wrong, then exact your vengeance!  Don’t get mad, get even! Obviously, this thinking is clearly contrary to what God wants for his children. Like many principles, biblical teaching on forgiveness sets the world on its head.  As you may recall, the Bible teaches us in Matthew 7:12 what is known everywhere as the Golden Rule:

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Now if God in the flesh tells me that something sums up all of the collected writings of His word until that time, I think I’d certainly pay attention.  It’s like a teacher telling you what’s going to be on the test!  It’s a rule based on love and empathy, and it’s really pretty simple.  All it requires is for us to think about how we’d like to be treated in any particular situation, and then to treat others the same way.  There’s no exception for those who treat us badly or would want to wish ill will on us.  There’s no gray area.  It’s pretty straightforward – do to/for others what you would want them to do to/for you. And that includes forgiveness.  You would want people to forgive you, and so you should forgive them, too.  Indeed, the Bible clearly states, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col. 3-13.

Mary Fairchild writes that “forgiveness is a choice we make through a decision of our will, motivated by obedience to God and his command to forgive.” So it’s not always easy.  But like all matters of obedience to God’s commands, forgiving others leads to spiritual benefits and blessings.  Obedience pleases the Lord, and the Lord promises blessings on those who please Him, so remember this fundamental point: the act of forgiveness is NOT about the person who has hurt us; rather, it’s about OUR obedience to God.

So the act of forgiveness is primarily about remembering how we’ve been forgiven and treated by our Lord.  We have been fully forgiven, with nothing we can do or could have done on our own to give us righteousness before God.  Only the forgiving blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross could bring salvation.  We’re freed from our sin and forgiven by Jesus’ actions, and for that reason we have a duty to forgive others.  Remember that people who hurt us have no idea who they’re dealing with.  We are royalty – heirs to the kingdom of God – forgiven and righteous before God – personal temples of the Holy Spirit!  Are we perfect?  No.  Do we hurt others, sometimes?  Yes.  Do we desire to be forgiven by others and our God?  Absolutely!  Is forgiving easy?  No, but we have the three best tools available to handle this sometimes difficult task: (1) the promises of the Father; (2) the death and resurrection of Jesus; and (3) the Holy Spirit within us!  When we admit that we’re unable to forgive on our own, we can allow God to work in us to accomplish true forgiveness and reap the benefits of our obedience, including a rich and abundant life as well as eternal life with God after our deaths.

God also commands us not to take revenge for that’s not our job or responsibility. Romans 12:19 states:

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

You might not realize it, but this scripture, along with the Golden Rule, above, is crucial to walking in forgiveness.  When we treat others kindly and let God work His justice to those that hurt us, life gets much, much easier.  We don’t need to worry about getting even and to waste our time and effort plotting against our offender.  The literal devil is in the details however, so I’ve found that it’s good to run real-life scenarios in my head to see how this all plays out. For example, if my boss says something hurtful to me, I could easily feel angry and try to do something to show his/her mean spirited nature to others.  Or . . . I could think about how I would feel and want to be treated in the same situation.  What if I had said the same thing?  Would I even know that I hurt someone’s feelings?  Then I would pray for my boss, forgiving him before God (but maybe also asking for truth and light to help my boss see what he has done through the guidance of the Holy Spirit), and then I let God sort it all out after that.

In addition to the numerous blessings you will enjoy from simply obeying God’s commands (search for “blessings for obeying God’s Word” on your computer for a sampling), forgiving others also positions you to lead healthy and peaceful lives.

Healthy Lives

When our attention is focused on a hurtful situation, we aren’t able to keep our focus on the Lord.  Remember that our God is a jealous God and He wants our full attention on Him.  When we are focused on other things, like anger, we aren’t in a position to see and receive the blessings He has ready for us, including good health.  Refusing to forgive someone is a sin that consumes emotion, attention, and healthy energy.

In the natural, there are many studies showing that stress and negative emotions contribute to illnesses in our bodies, and a refusal to forgive creates a very stressful negative energy.  There are very few things in life that we can control, but we can at least control our actions that affect the health of our earthly and spiritual bodies.  Controlling our un-forgiveness is one of those things.  We have a choice of whether or not to forgive someone.  We can choose to keep the hurt and un-forgiveness in our body, or we can choose to forgive and let God sort out the rest.

I firmly believe that holding un-forgiveness toward someone really does most of its damage to the person who can’t forgive, no matter how many ways that person can think of “getting even.”  Often, the one who slights you has no clue, and sitting around thinking about it all the time is slowly eating away at your potential for an abundant life. It’s like drinking a poison and expecting somebody else to die – harboring un-forgiveness is basically choosing death.  Don’t do it!  CHOOSE LIFE!  Ask God to help you work through your un-forgiveness!  Step into health and the fullness of the blessings that God has ready for you!

Peaceful Lives

Peace is one blessing that’s always available to us.  In fact, did you know that we could have peace in every situation at every moment of every day?  In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Notice that he gives us HIS peace, not just generic peace or any other kind of peace – HIS peace!  What does this mean?  It means that we can walk in the same peace that Jesus had every day.  You might ask, “How can I do this when my life is a crazy, stressful whirlwind?”  Well, forgetting for the moment that Jesus’s life was probably a bit more stressful than any of our own, we know that we can have this peace by following the instructions in the Bible, including the instruction to forgive others.  We may not have peace at the moment of the hurtful act (or even immediately after), but we can CHOOSE to have peace in our healing process by simply choosing to forgive.

Jesus also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”  Most people look at this blessing as one reserved for people who make peace among other folks.  But I think it also applies to making peace in your own mind by forgiving others and by asking God to sort it all out later.  Part of being a peacemaker is to let go of the things that taint relationships, especially those caused by un-forgiveness.

In sum, walking in forgiveness involves obedience to God’s command that we treat others as we would have them treat us, and that we leave vengeance up to our Heavenly Father.  We forgive others because God specifically commands us to, and because doing so shows God (and others) our love for Him and His creation. We obey because doing God’s will bring us closer to Him. And from this obedience flow the benefits and blessings promised in the Bible, including healthy and peaceful lives

Next we will discuss the woundedness and how to recognize unforgiveness within our hearts.

Hello and Welcome to our New Blog!

We are very excited to post and chat about various topics from our Bible Studies and teachings.  Many of the studies have come from our study of a particular word from the Bible and questions asked about specific topics.  We pray that you are uplifted, encouraged and edified by these snippets of information.

Let us know what you think!

Blessings and Peace,

Denise and Tim

Arming the Saints

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