SHINE: Heal by the Spirit — Forgive Them, Heal Yourself

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Forgive Them, Heal Yourself

© 2010 Tonya M. Evans

October 6, 2010

forgiveness stone in hand Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”

Matthew 18: 21-22

When we are hurt or harmed by others, either intentionally or even unintentionally, emotional scars often last far longer than any physical scar ever could. No one understands this reality more than Jesus. And yet, knowing the end of His physical walk on this earth was near and knowing the painful circumstances by which he would pass from human life to His heavenly position, still He taught us to forgive. He also led by example, when hanging on the cross He prayed for those who nailed his body there:

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23: 34 (New King James version)

This act of obedience and wisdom and truly unconditional love, is one of the greatest examples of looking beyond faults and seeing needs we have to guide our walk through this life.

It is often said that forgiveness is not a gift for the person who offends you but a gift to yourself. It is your chance to release the negative emotions trapped within you and to free yourself from the shackles of words or experience that threaten to dull your awesome glow. To SHINE and to HEAL. Forgiveness is the path to wholeness and healing. It is the process of replacing hurt, hate, judgment and fear with love — with God. And forgiveness evidences a spiritual maturity to, with humility, recognize our own faults, the ways we have intentionally and unintentionally hurt or harmed others, and our own desire to be forgiven.

And as the example of Jesus shows, it’s not about whether the person deserves forgiveness. It’s that YOU deserve to be happy, to be free, to be loved and to be loving. And because love and fear cannot occupy the same space, if you desire love to dwell within you, if you truly desire to be healed from the inside out … forgive others and HEAL yourself!

More on forgiveness from Psychology Today.

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