Forgiveness is a topic I am so passionate about. This will bring healing and freedom whereas holding offense in our hearts which I consider poison will cause division as it destroys families and friendships.
It’s only when Jesus came into my life 14 years ago that I was able to truly forgive others, as He taught me how to see my created value through His eyes of love, who He created me to be in relationship with Him. If I can’t see my value how then can I see it in other people? So now I was able to finally see the precious value in others, making it easy to love instead of criticizing, judging and labeling them.
Jesus never condemns, criticizes and labels us, why do we think we are allowed to do that?
When I was lost and broken making mistakes after mistakes, God saw pass all the junk and loved me just where I was, accepting me and longing to have relationship with me. By the way I must make something clear, our mistakes don’t make us a mistake.
He didn’t point the finger at me shaking His head saying ‘get cleaned up first then I will accept you and love you’. He actually said to me, ‘come as you are, baggage and all, my love for you will work on your heart and transform you gently stage by stage.’ That’s exactly what He did to me.
I remember when my father came to meet me for the first time when I was 34. He couldn’t understand why I was showing him so much acceptance, love and forgiveness when he missed all my birthdays, Christmases, walking me down the isle and the birth of his grand kids. I told him it was the love of Jesus that taught me how to truly love, it was the love of Jesus that taught me how to forgive. It was His love that helped me to see people though the Fathers eyes and not my own.
True forgiveness doesn’t remind the person of what they did, it doesn’t gossip, avoid them and give cold shoulders. Forgiveness doesn’t need to have an apology first, but it loves them and remembers the sin no more. How can I chose not to forgive a person when I expect Jesus to forgive me of ALL my sin, that’s hypercritical of me to think that way.
So I told my father about the gospel of Jesus, and why Jesus did what He did on the cross. I told him what true love looks like, no strings attached, no motives, not I love you, now love me back. True love is pure.
This was all new to dad’s ears. Dad’s life prior to meeting me was a whirlwind of non stop drama, crime, hurt, betrayal, violence and hatred. Within days of visiting me in Barbados, he wanted the joy and love he saw in me and my friends which he never knew existed, he gave his life to Jesus returning to New Zealand a changed new man.
We live in a world with too many angry and hurting people because of entertaining anger and offence in some way, can you imagine if everyone on earth decided to forgive and love each other what this world could look like?
I was taken advantage of sexually many years ago, I can honestly say that gentleman is welcomed in my home, why? Because I can either chose to live as a victim which gets me nowhere, dwelling daily on the anger which would rob me of any hope of a fulfilled and happy life, or I chose to forgive setting myself free from all offense. I can’t let how life treats me to therefore play me like a puppet as I drown in misery. I choose freedom. I chose Jesus.
What that gentleman did does NOT define who I am, it should never have any power to dictate how my life should go or who I will become. I am who the heavenly Father says I am which is all lovely and beautiful as He encourages me, He sees my potential and purpose cheering me on to finish the race well!
Jesus helped me to see that gentleman the way He sees him, God loves that man but hates the sin. That’s what we also have to do, love people but hate the sin. We can’t point fingers and accuse as we seek revenge or start condemning them. If I did that to my Father when he met me, he probably would have died an unsaved man, but because I showed him the love of Jesus and forgiveness it brought him to repentance and now is in the arms of Jesus in heaven. Yes, my father died a few years ago and I speak about that in my book.
We are to pray for those who persecute us, pray for those who lie about us and watch and see how our hearts get transformed from stinking worldly thinking to healthy Christ like thinking.
Forgiving others as I have talked about is crucial, but do you know also forgiving ourselves is another issue we have to deal with. Over 18 years ago I had an abortion due to intense fear, something I am not proud of. Jesus forgave me and then I had to forgive myself so the shame and self hatred could finally die.
He graciously showed me my child in heaven which brought so much comfort and peace. You see you can’t kill a spirit but you can kill the flesh. So, my beautiful daughter is growing up in heaven and I’ve seen her in visions which I also talk about in my autobiography.
I have so many stories of times I needed to forgive, and only knowing the love that Jesus has for me and how He forgave all my hideous sins, helped me to do the same towards others.
What I am saying is I don’t have the right to hold any anger according to any wrong that was done towards me, but I have the right to forgive and love because of the drastic action Jesus took on that cross to forgive and REMOVE all my sin, therefore I cant be selective of who I forgive or the measure I use to forgive, because Jesus died to forgive everyone and remove all our sin, not some people and not some sin, ALL sin, so I too must forgive all the wrong that has been done towards me.
You might be thinking its easy to say the words in prayer, I forgive you, but I don’t feel it!!
Okay, I too have had that same problem a few years ago, and one day I asked Jesus, “How can I feel love for that person, I said the right thing in prayer, I forgive them but I keep feeling that sting when I hear their name or bump into them, help me Lord.”
He replied, “Melissa I want you to pray for those people the same way you would pray for yourself or your close loved ones, everyday.”
So I did, everyday whether I felt like it or not, I prayed for them the same way I prayed for myself. Not to long I started to feel love for them, true love and when I saw them I just wanted to hug them, the sting was truly gone!
I encourage you, anyone that you have to forgive, do it today, forgive them and pray for them daily. Remove all expectations off of them and put them on Christ alone because He never fails, by removing expectations it allows us to love people so when they make a mistake or disappoint, our love remains without judgement.
Let’s forgive and chose to love, the world needs to see the love of Jesus in action through us, the world is hungry, can I even say starving for this very mercy and love. Destroy the works of the enemy that’s harassing you with hurtful memories and chose to reach out and forgive, it will bring freedom.