Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
We’ve defined grace with two powerful dynamics-forgiveness and freedom. Remember, we pointed out that Jesus never mentioned the term “grace”, but embodied it completely.
Paul spoke of forgiveness and freedom that are only available in Jesus. He said,“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him (Jesus)forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him (Jesus)everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39)
Every time we bring up the subject of forgiveness, people immediately wake up and take notes. So many are locked up in the state of non-forgiveness. Either they long to be forgiven for something they have done or not done or they are imprisoned by not being willing to forgive someone who has hurt them. Either way, people are stuck in non-forgiveness.
There are 5 steps to forgiving those who have hurt you: 1. Remind yourself that they are only human. 2. Relinquish your right to get even, because you never will. 3. Be ready to hurt in order to heal-willing to take the pain without making anyone pay for it. 4. Pray for them and wish them well. 5. You may have to repeat the process. When you forgive, you don’t do it for others, but for yourself! This will set you free from the paralysis of guilt that haunts you from your past and is the ultimate way to resolve your out-of-control past.
Recently, Diana and I were given a terrific visual on how to handle a past that is out of control. After listening to a client emotionally rehearse how many people had victimized her over the years, the attorney cut her off and handed her client a porcelain frog. She said, “Take this as a reminder for your life. A frog cannot jump backwards-only forwards. Don’t be quick to jump into your past and dig it up. Stay in the present and when you jump, jump forward.”
Once you forgive another person, you set a prisoner free. That prisoner is you. Once you experience forgiveness, either by forgiving or being forgiven, you enter into a wonderful sense of freedom. Forgiveness and freedom fit together like a hand and glove. Not to forgive, will bind you up, stress you out and eat you alive. You choose.