Posted by: Nancy Day-Achauer | August 27, 2009

Forgiveness

     Forgiveness has been on my mind a lot lately. On my Facebook Fan Page (Pastor Nancy Day-Achauer) I started posting daily quotes on forgiveness as a means of keeping the topic in the forefront of my thoughts. I’m not sure why I’m thinking about it so much this week; clearly, the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention on the matter. I’m wondering, maybe I haven’t really forgiven all the people I need to forgive. Maybe I haven’t really forgiven myself for something. Forgiveness is challenging – we all want to receive it but we’re often not very good at genuinely giving it. Or maybe I’m just self-flagellating.

     I remember back in 1998 when I was deeply wounded after being betrayed by someone. I knew I should forgive the person but I really didn’t want to. Everyday I prayed for God to forgive me for my inability to forgive the person! I eventually was able to forgive that person but now I’m wondering whether I have truly forgiven him. Are there some instances of inauthentic forgiveness floating around my psyche causing me to think about forgiveness a lot lately?

     Unfortunately, the big things requiring forgiveness are the things we never forget which makes forgiveness all the more challenging. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking about forgiveness, maybe I’m just checking in with myself to make sure that I’m still forgiving. Or maybe the Holy Spirit is trying to draw my attention to the fact that I am a forgiving person (albeit eventually). Could it be that the Holy Spirit is giving me a pat on the back? (Hopefully, this isn’t preparation for a humdinger incident that’s about to happen that will require all my forgiveness skills!)

     No one gets through life unscathed. All of us have done things in the past for which we hope to receive forgiveness, we all have people we need to forgive, and we all need to forgive ourselves for something (maybe lots of things). Forgiving is hard but the aftereffects are wonderful. It sounds trite but it is freeing and will feel like a burden has been lifted. If you are having trouble forgiving others or yourself, ask God for help. There are times when only God can give you the strength to forgive – go ahead and ask, God loves to help. And don’t forget to ask God’s forgiveness (we all have something). God is always available to listen and will forgive you.

     So now I think I’m going to have a little chat with God and ask what’s up with all this focus on forgiveness I’m having. Grace and peace.

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Responses

  1. I felt a deep betrayal in 1995 and it took me until this year to wipe the slate clean! I knew all along that until I could forgive completely that part of me was separate from God–but it was the best I could do.
    Thank you for sharing your sincere reflections on forgiveness. I’ve believed for a long time that forgiveness is second only to love when you love God. What a different place the world would be if forgiveness was applied more truly. That may be part of the reason you are so drawn to write about it.

  2. Thanks Nancy.
    I am unable to forgive without getting God in the picture. It is only in being able to release it to God that it is forgiven. I am unable to just forgive. I also have to stay focused on the difference between forgetting and forgiving. Forgetting is an unreasonable expectation and probably unhealthy. In fact when it is me just saying I forgive that is really me just pushing it away, only to resurface later. When I talk with God about the incident, I sometimes find there is nothing to forgive. It is my self centeredness blaming another person for something I may have become defensive about. Sometimes centered around an unresolved lack of forgiveness on my part from a past incident. Forigiveness is way too big for me to handle and doesn’t happen only by words. Forgiving from the heart is tough stuff. And often times I still need to revisit the hurt depending upon its significance in shaping my life.


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