Yesterday we were motorcycling in Alabama. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow biker, we were able to ride a Triumph through some of the hills and back roads. Few of the leaves have changed colors, so we were met with lush green most places we went. I kept thinking how much I always enjoyed the verdancy of the mid-west and southern states and realized I had been given my “green fix” on this weekend ride. It was a great day!
Optimal health from an unhealthy relationship can only be achieved through forgiveness and God’s grace. I’m grateful for God grace and forgiveness towards me and can only offer forgiveness to those who offend and hurt me. Some days my ability to forgive is only possible by allowing God to forgive through me! It is only by accepting personal forgiveness and offering forgiveness to the other that I can find peace. For that I’m grateful!
Over the years I’ve learned that offering forgiveness means I won’t hold the offender hostage to the acts of their past. It also means I don’t harbor bad feelings or thoughts about them. It does not mean I have to subject myself to their bad behavior or abuses in the future. The last sentence may be really important for some of you to realize, so let me say it again.
It does not mean I have to subject myself to their bad behavior or abuses in the future.
When I was younger, I thought forgiving someone meant letting go of the past and just getting back on with life, acting like nothing happened. This might work if the offending party is repentant of their behavior and really wants to change. If not, I found I was only setting myself up to be hurt or abused again. This is not what God wants for any of us!
If any of you are struggling with an unresolved relationship, I encourage you to FORGIVE – both yourself and the other party; accept the peace and grace God offers through forgiveness; move on in life, trusting His guidance. For each relationship crisis, the moving on may look different. Follow His lead.