New Year’s Resolution: Forgiveness
When we think of a “New Year’s resolution” we often think of gym dates or losing weight. Dropping pounds may be great for your physical health, but dropping dead weight will be great for your spiritual well-being. What is considered dead weight? It could be sin, feelings of bitterness, or even harboring resentment for another person. These things are considered dead weight because they are never conducive to you and will only weigh you down. So as you’re preparing for the new year, wrapping up Christmas presents, and compiling your list of resolutions, there is something I want you to consider. The definition of the word resolution is “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.” In literal sense of the word, a great resolution for the new year would be to forgive a relative, peer, or any other person that has hurt you in the past. There is a common saying, “forgiveness is for you, not for the other person.” Did you know that there is biblical correlation to this statement? For your sake, it is imperative that you forgive. Don’t travel into your new year with old baggage. Forgiveness is always hard because it has to be extended after someone has offended you. But here are some key points to get over the hurdle of hurt and forgive:
When You Forgive, God Forgives
It’s no secret that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, according to scripture Romans 3:23. I believe it is something that God expects, but what do we expect from God when this fall happens? We expect him to pick us up, forgive us, and love us once we confess what we did. Since He is faithful and just, He will forgive our sins and purify us, according to 1 John 1:9. But there are some contingencies. Jesus said “If you forgive others, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you for the wrong things you have done,” Matthew 6:14-15. Forgiveness is something that God is willing to give but you have to be willing to give it too. I know it may be hard because you have been hurt. But imagine how hurtful it could be to Jesus when we disobey Him, after He laid down His life for us. There is no one walking this earth that does not need forgiveness. We all need it from the Father, so we all need to give it.
It May Not Be Easy, But It is Essential
I know forgiving can be easier said than done. These wounds can go back as far as your childhood years. The person could be deceased or even distanced from your life, and you still may harbor ill feelings, bitterness, or resentment towards them. I know it’s hard, but it’s humbling to forgive. When you humble yourself and forgive, you are submitting to the will of God. You are releasing repayment and vengeance to the Lord. According to 1 Peter 5:6-7, we are called to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and He will lift us up in due time. We can cast our worries on Him because He cares for us. Since God cares for you so much, He does not want to see those old wounds bleeding. He loves you too much to leave you hurting. He does not want you to bear this burden alone. Instead, He is saying humble yourself before Him, let Him lift you up, and leave the wounds with Him. He promises to take care of them. You don’t have to walk around with the hurt of rejection, heaviness, or flashbacks from what happened any longer. You have a Father who is willing to avenge, aid, and annul all the pain on your behalf. Humble yourself, and give your situation to God. Let Him fix it.
There is Power in Prayer
I often hear “You can’t heal what you don’t reveal.” If you know you have an issue forgiving someone, go before the Lord and confess it to Him. Repent for not forgiving and seek God’s wisdom on moving forward. Ask Him to help you display compassion and unconditional love like Jesus did for us. Ask Him to allow you to see the person that hurt you, the way He sees them. Ask Him to take all ungodly thoughts captive and make them obedient to Jesus when you see the person that hurt you. Then pray for that person to be helped, blessed, and delivered. Have you often heard the phrase “hurt people hurt people?” This phrases means that people who are wounded end up inflicting harm on others. Pray that God releases them from their pain so they no longer hurt people like they hurt you.
Remember When God Forgave You
Think about all the times you were disobedient but God forgave you. Think about how grateful you were when forgiveness was extended to you and not excluded from you. Think about how you would feel if God did not forgive your sins. Think about your relationship with Jesus and how important it is to you. Use this as motivation to submit your hurt to the Father and let Him handle it.
Acknowledge and Release the Pain
We all have been wounded and found ourselves in a place of brokenness. What we do with that brokenness makes the ultimate difference. Do not allow yourself to stay in that place of pain. This place does nothing to prosper you but everything to prohibit you. Acknowledge the pain and then release the pain. Some helpful ways to release are writing and crying out to God. Once you acknowledge and release the hurt, God will help you heal.
I encourage you to start the new year as a new you. Release the former, be a forgiver, and be forgiven by the Father. He sees your pain and He wants to help. You just have to let Him.
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