Since forgiveness is crucial to our health, it is important that we know how to do it instantly. To hold a grudge is detrimental to our well-being. To let go of it is beneficial and will do us lots of good; physically, mentally and emotionally.
But to do so is very difficult and almost impossible for many of us. And so most of us are living with heavy burden of issues in our hearts day after day. Symptoms of this situation include heaviness of heart, depression, and anxiety/panic attacks, etc.
What should we do then?
The Bible has lots of verses on on this subject and Jesus talk about it and also taught it in the gospels. Here are some of the verses on this topic.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;..."
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
In our everyday living, we rub shoulders with others and in so doing, there will bound to be conflicts, disagreements and even betrayals. Many times we got so hurt and bruised emotionally that we become so weary and heavy hearted on waking up and dread going in to work or about our daily chores.
Have you ever feel so lousy that you regret having words with your spouse, colleague or whoever you argued with? The emotional unrest you experiencing isn't worth it, right?
What about old offences that you have not dealt with? Abused when you were young or younger? Betrayal by authoritative figures in your lives? Best friends? Rejections or abandonment?
It's not worth it to carry these emotional baggages in your hearts through life. God want us to forgive everyone who has rejected, abandoned, betrayed or abused us.
First, we need to take into accounts 3 factors that are also the foundational basis of our Christian life; namely:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. -- 2 Corinthians 5:17a
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -- Galatians 2:20
"But if you don't practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being." - Mayo Clinic
We are living an exchanged life. The moment we accepted Christ into our heart as Lord and Saviour, we ceased to live as the old creature that we were. We became a new creation in Christ. The 'old me' was crucified with Christ. Now we live our lives in Christ and it is a faith walk. We look the same outwardly. But now, Christ through the Holy Spirit has come to live within us. As it is, now God abide in us through Christ by the Holy Spirit and all the power to forgive instantly is within us.
Abiding in Christ is a moment by moment and day by day practice.
Jesus told us to abide in Him.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
As a Christian living the Christian life, we need to make a conscious effort to abide in Christ because the 'old me' or 'self' is always wanting to be in control. We need to constantly yield ourselves to Christ and allow Him to live His life in and through us. It is very important for us to recognise that apart from Him, we can do NOTHING!!!
Gradually, you won't feel that it's much effort at all to abide in Him. In fact, abiding is just resting in Him. It comes automatically when you are continually living in God's presence. You will definitely know when you are out of sync. ;-)
To forgive is easy and instant just as salvation is easy and instantaneous.
I did not realise this truth until I read and understand this scripture verse from a different perspective.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (English Standard Version)
Therefore in the manner in which ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, (Jubilee Bible 2000)
As therefore you have received the Christ, even Jesus our Lord, live and act in vital union with Him; (Weymouth New Testament)
From the above translations of this Bible verse, I realised that the same manner I received Christ into my heart as Lord and Saviour, the same way I am to walk and live my Christian life.
When I accepted Christ, I believe in His finished work on the cross and by faith received Him into my heart as Lord and Saviour. I knew instantly when I opened my heart and yield my will to Him that I became a child of God: forgiven, cleansed and reconciled to God. It was so easy and instantaneous.
So how do knowing these three facts help us live the Christian life freely without bearing and holding grudges against any other.
Take sometime alone and quiet.
Feel the tension in your belly. That's where we suffer the most when we are stressed and offended. We feel a tightening, and a churning.
Feel it by touching your tummy area.
Take a deep breath and exhale.
Slowly inhaling and exhaling, tell the Lord;
Not my will but yours, Lord.
I yield my will to you completely.
I'm all yours. Take over, Lord.
Loosen this emotional knot and take it out of me.
Forgive (name of the person) through me, Lord.
Let your forgiveness flow through me.
Let your peace returns and your joy starts bubbling out from my belly.
Yes, let the rivers of living waters flow from my belly.
Let them flows.
Let forgiveness flows...
let peace flows...
let joy flows...
Let the Lord Christ Jesus invade you with His Presence. You will feel His peace coming upon you and then the joy that starts to bubble up within your belly. What peace! What joy! :-) Peace that passeth all understanding and joy unspeakable!
Just dwell in His Presence and enjoy Him. Smile:-)
Jesus did said that His yoke is easy and that when we take His yoke, we will find rest for our souls.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:29
We are told to forgive; not just seven times but seventy-seven times. Jesus is not a 'kill-joy' or 'sadist'. He wants us to have rest for our souls.
He knew that when we abide in Him and let Him live His life through us, forgiveness is easy. By ourselves, we can do nothing. In Christ, we can forgive seventy-seven times effortlessly.
Let's do it now and live a life filled with peace and joy throughout the day in the very Presence of God within us.
You will not only be able to feel no animosity towards the person who hurt you, you will begin to live life without negative feelings but only peace and joy and confidence. Yes, it will affect every area of your life; your well-being, your health and your family will love you. :-D
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