Forgiveness Part 2

by Rhonda, March 15, 2022


I didn't want to do another post on unforgiveness.  

I continued to look for inspiration around something else.  But, every topic I've come across this week is around forgiving others.  My e-mail has coincidentally populated with Christian messages about forgiveness.  My YouTube subscriptions are updating with lessons on forgiveness (Part 1 and Part 2, no less) as I quickly scroll past, not wanting to face it yet again.    

No, I'd rather have some sort of enlightenment on a new topic.  Maybe, I told myself, it will come to me in my sleep.  Last night as I slept peacefully, I did actually have a dream.  

I dreamed about my eyebrows.

Being a redhead, I've never had any color whatsoever in my blonde eyebrows.  But, in my dream, I had distinct eyebrows.  I looked in the mirror and I had defined, colored, perfectly manicured eyebrows.  They were colored a little dark for my hair color, but in fact, they existed.  It was fascinating. 

I made faces in the mirror during my dream.  I lifted them for a surprised look.  I lowered them for an angry look.  I had so many new emotions I could convey with my newfound eyebrows!  In my dream, I picked up a make-up wipe and tried to remove the eyebrows.  But, they were permanent.  I had permanently perfect eyebrows!  I inspected them from all angles before my dream suddenly ended.

As I woke this morning, I laid in bed for a while, telling myself it was absurd to actually think I had different eyebrows.  But, I couldn't stand it, and after a few minutes I hopped out of bed to check on my eyebrows.  Just as I suspected, they were the same shade of white as the night before.  

I looked to the ceiling. 

"Funny."

The eyebrow dream really doesn't have much to do with anything, except to illustrate when you're ignoring God's lessons and you then ask for a spiritual dream, you might get a dream about eyebrows.  I'm not sure if that's true for everyone, or just me.  

So, let's talk unforgiveness.

It has come upon me this week with a vengeance.  It seems unfair that I'm still dealing with this, since I did a good job of forgiving last week and I earned my gold star.  I am starting to sound very much like Peter, asking the Lord how many times I have to forgive.  This is a difficult phase post-divorce, and it seems like every day I am finding yet another reason to be angry.  

But, I must remind myself I'm not after a gold star, I'm after freedom.  I want to move forward.  I don't want to live in the past, allowing anger to fester into bitterness.  I refuse to allow my mind to remain in this state, continually producing toxic emotions that will drag me further down the pit.  
I made a list to refocus myself this week.  Perhaps this is helpful to you, too:

Unforgiveness causes tremendous stress.  Did you know when there is an excess of stress molecules flowing through the body, the first target is the circulatory system?  Your heart literally feels the emotion causing the stress (Dr. Caroline Leaf).  Forgive.  Don't let somebody else's bad behavior ruin your life and your health.  It will literally give you heartache.

Unforgiveness wastes energy.  When in a state of unforgiveness, you're continually trying to collect from people who cannot pay you back.  No one has the power to heal except Christ.  By looking for restitution from the person who is hurting you, you're actually putting the power of your peace in their hands time and time again.  God will pay you back many times over for what was taken from you in the past.

Unforgiveness causes us to settle.  When you choose to hold onto the past, you are not living your best life.  Do not settle for less than God's very best in your life.  God asks us to forgive.  God is a good God, who only wants good for His children.  If He asks you to forgive, it is because He has something better for you. 

Unforgiveness prevents change.  When you want change in your life, you have to do your part.  People typically don't just fall into blessings.  So, do you really want to get well?  Do you really want to change?  God won't change you without you being on board.  But God will help you with anything you are willing to give Him.  As long as you are blaming other people, it keeps you from seeing your part that has to change.
  
Unforgiveness puts "self" in control.  This is never a good thing.  You don't have to feel warm, fuzzy feelings to forgive.  You can make the decision to stop living by your feelings, and start obeying God.  When you do what's right, without tiring of it, God will take care of the impossible things.  You no longer have to manipulate a situation to get what you want.  Instead, "self" is removed from the driver's seat, and you just have to stay obedient to God and let Him handle it (in His way and in His timing).

Unforgiveness spiritually neutralizes us.  Your greatest responsibility is pursuing the dreams God has given you.  The devil will try to stop you by keeping your focus on past wrongs, hurts, or hangups.  As long as you're focused on wrongs from the past, you won't have any energy left to dream the dreams God puts on your heart.  Remember, sometimes your plans have to fail in order for God's plans to proceed.  Stay focused on God's plans for your future, not your failed plans from the past.  

Unforgiveness prevents forward progress.  You almost always have to let go of something old to take hold of something new.  Forgiving allows you to separate yourself from your old ways.  The things that God asks us to lay down are the things that are usually making us miserable anyway.  God's plan is for us to enjoy our life in abundance.  Progress will never occur when you are busy avenging yourself.  Revenge prevents peace, which stops you from moving forward.

God always shows us what we need to do, but God won't deliver us from a problem we keep feeding.  We must stay in the fight to forgive, asking God to increase our faith so we will have the ability to make forgiveness a lifestyle instead of a one-time decision.

This week, I'm ready to fight for my freedom.  I am not meant to live under the dark shadow of the past.  Its time to let go of the old and embrace the new.

I hope you join me.

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