Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time to Forgive, Time to be Healed

I have come to a conclusion about myself lately, I need to be healed of some things, some things I am certain others also need some level of healing from.

Over the years I found myself on occasion harboring an attitude where I need to move on and let certain things go. Harboring some level of anger and hurt no matter how small continued to build up. Simply put, I know there have been many who have hurt me, and many I need to forgive. I have found myself at the place where I think or have thought I have forgiven people, and for the most part, I have forgiven many who have done me or others I love wrong. Unfortunately, in the process of forgiveness, I have at times I harbored small attitudes of anger and hurt that have continued to build. It is time to experience all God has for me, and let it go!

Don’t get me wrong, I am certain that while there are many I need to forgive, there are others where I need to ask them to forgive me. When thinking about this concept of forgiveness, I will freely admit, at times I have struggled at who, why, and when to forgive, or ask forgiveness from. I can’t help it but I haven’t been able to get a particular passage of scripture off my mind. That passage out of the Sermon on the Mount reads.

If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Luke 6: 14, 15

I just had a great conversation with a good friend on the radio show yesterday. A part of our conversation, one which I happen to promote and believe in, is that Jesus meant exactly what he said in the Bible. As I look at the Bible I see a reoccurring theme on forgiveness, some of those include:

Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.
Jesus said: Don't judge others, and God won't judge you. Don't be hard on others, and God won't be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated. Luke 6: 36-38

Give us each day the food we need. Forgive our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us. And keep us from being tempted.' “Luke 11: 3, 4

… would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck. So be careful what you do. Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, "I am sorry," you should still forgive that person. Luke 17: 2-4

God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. Colossians 3: 12-14

These passages, and many others, are rather clear, forgiveness of the things we have done wrong, are somewhat contingent on our ability to forgive others where they have done us wrong, and in part our willingness to seek forgiveness where we have done others wrong. This is where I have found myself not experiencing all God has for me. It is something I have of recent begun to address and take charge of.

Today I began a journey to healing. Truth is I have been aware in my life of issues I needed to address for some time. With small doses of anger, mixed in with what has seemed like a ton of hurt, there are issues I needed to start to get some resolve, at least know in my heart I had taken the necessary steps of initiating love and forgiveness, not just towards individuals but organizations. I won’t go into any detail regarding those organizations, nor those individuals, it is between them and I, but what I will say, is today I started that process.

Do I expect total healing will come immediately regarding the hurt and despair of my heart? I can honestly say the answer to that question is no, but, I can say I know it has already started. I know that while I have waited on others to do their part, it hasn’t occurred so I had to be the one that initiated the action. I sought after Gods totality of love, including his forgiveness, and my willingness to go to others, and let them know that I forgive them for the wrong they have done me, and am asking them to forgive me for areas where I may have done them wrong. Part of my prayer is that those who need to see this, need to know this.

This process isn’t easy, truth is, I know the truth as I know the truth. What I mean is that while at points and time I was angry and hurt, I was angry and hurt for the actions of others as I perceived them towards me, my family, and others I loved and served. I can honestly say before individuals reading this, some of those involved in the issues of my life, and before God, I don’t know where or what I did wrong. I know specifics of where others lied and did not share truth. I have always tried to maintain the character and integrity God intends for all of us to have, and can honestly say that in some situations, I have spoken nothing but absolute truth and honesty, yet others stated and shared lies, that quite possibly, friends, and some agencies believed. It is unfortunate because there were many and ample witnesses to verify truth, but to my knowledge that truth was ever sought out.

Why do I share this? The reasoning is quite simple, over the last few days and weeks, God has been dealing with me on the importance of us seeking forgiveness, even in areas where we don’t know we did wrong, and especially in offering forgiveness, when we know others have done us wrong but have not sought forgiveness. That is what I am trying to do. I firmly believe God will have this message resonate with someone who reads this. Who that is? Why that is? I don’t know the answers to those questions, I just know it is!

There are other areas God is working on me with regarding this concept. For those that know the story of Anthony you know my story. There are enough places with a little bit of work where you can find that story, even links on this page. That said, I have been praying about God opening up the doors for me to go spend about a month with my mother. For those who know my story, you know now how serious this concept of forgiveness is I am contemplating. I know God wants me to forgive my mother in full, I am finally at the point where I want to do that, and show and provide love to my mother. The specifics of how I do that I frankly don’t know. I was recently blessed and went from $125 in my ministry and personal accounts, to the place I now have $400. That isn’t much though; God needs to provide the finances if this is going to happen. I would like to spend a month with my mother, which would mean a month away from my family so healing could take place in a miraculous way between the two of us. I still pray for, hope for, long for, my mother coming to know Christ in a personal way, and following him in a real way. I haven’t given up hope for that. Maybe God could open up doors for ministry in the Tri City or surrounding area of Tennessee to help finance the trip, I don’t know. I know God knows my heart, God knows your heart, He has ways of touching us, and providing for us in ways we can’t understand.

That is my sharing in a personal way with you today. I know deep within my heart and soul, that today, God wanted me to share this because there are others reading it that need to take the steps that lead towards real forgiveness and real healing. I can’t do it for you, I can only do it for myself. In that regard I started the process, I have walked the aisle, I have done what God required. Now it is up to you to do what God wants you to do. I have peace, and that peace is the start of healing.

The following is a song by Rebecca St. James called Forgive Me. If you see the video just double click, otherwise, click on the link below.

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