As painful and disheartening as offences can be, they still occur. There’s only one thing you can do about offences after you realize you have been offended: forgive!
Some people who have offended you:
1. Are not aware, so forgive.
2. Pretend not to be aware, but you still forgive.
3. Don’t see why you should be offended at such a ‘simple’ thing, forgive.
4. Don’t even care that you are offended, forgive.
5. Are genuinely sorry, so forgive.
When you refuse to forgive, you become enslaved to the one who has offended you. Only a few thoughtful people will carry the burden of guilt when they know you have not forgiven their offence against you but the greater burden is on you the offended. Don’t wait for them to come and apologize before forgiving, that apology may never come. Let go and let God.
Offences are real, and effects are as real as the causes. The earlier we forgive, the better.
WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO FORGIVE
Worthington and Scherer (2004) noted that forgiveness is complex, describing two types of forgiveness. “Emotional forgiveness” is rooted in emotions and affects motivation, and involves emotional experiences. “Decisional forgiveness” is behavioural, wherein one seeks to behave toward a transgressor as they did before the transgression occurred, releasing the transgressor from the debt (Worthington & Scherer, 2004).
Offences carry with them bitter feelings. Forgiveness can’t be complete until we release this bitter feeling. A change in behaviour of the offended towards the offender usually follows this release to once again live as before. When we forgive but can’t forget, it because we are still holding on to the hurt emotions.
“Failing to forgive, or unforgiveness is the practice of engaging in ruminative thoughts of anger, vengeance, hate, and resentment that have unproductive outcomes for the ruminator, such as increased anxiety, depression, elevated blood pressure, vascular resistance, decreased immune response, and worse outcomes in coronary artery disease. Practising forgiveness enables the transgressed individual to reduce their engagement in rumination, thus reducing their experience of anger, resentment, and hate. Forgiveness, then, is a pathway to psychological well-being and health outcomes.” Norman, K (2017) Forgiveness: How it Manifests in our Health, Wellbeing, and Longevity.
Ruminating thoughts of anger, vengeance, hate, and resentment
When you keep playing back in your mind, all the hurt feelings, hatred, anger and vengeance because of an offence, then you are engaging in unforgiveness.
EFFECTS OF UNFORGIVENESS
1. Increased anxiety
3. Elevated blood pressure
4. Vascular resistance
5. Decreased immune response
6. Heart diseases
7. It is self-destructive: can’t you see you are destroying your life and nearing your grave with these deep periodic sighs of hmmm! Hmmm! Hmmm!?
8. It imprisons
9. It is a simple but sometimes forgotten truth that the greatest enemy to present joy and high hopes is the cultivation of retrospective bitterness.—Robert G. Menzies
10. Loss of Freedom: Consumed with, Controlled by, and Become Like the Offender
This is possibly the worst of the consequences of unforgiveness and it is so easy to fall into this trap.
Consumed with the offender—How can you be free when you spend so much time thinking about how they hurt you? Your mind is stuck on trying to resolve something that only God can handle effectively. When you spend that much time thinking about them, it is like building a nice house for them in your mind and moving them in. You paint and maintain the house, because you constantly visit it and THEM.
Bitterness and vengeance are traps. Vengeance is considered a “right”. Bitterness blinds you and moves you to a place you never wanted or intended to be. You think it will make you better, but it just makes you bitter. And bitterness is an open wound, draining life from you.
Controlled by the offender—They not only consume your mind, worse yet, they control you. The longer you carry the grudge, the more they control your thoughts, actions, and feelings. The more you want vengeance, the more energy drains from you as you plot, seek, or try to get revenge. And, even if you do get revenge, you often have regrets, second-guesses or feel it wasn’t enough. Enjoy the consequences of unforgiveness!
Conformed to be like the offender—Consider this. If you want to learn golf or tennis, you spend time playing and thinking about it. If you want to learn something new, you read about it, think about it. When you immerse yourself into something; it becomes part of you. So, the more energy you use and the more time you spend thinking about the person who wronged you, the greater the chance they have to influence your thoughts and actions. You increase the possibility of becoming just like them.
The Lord has a better path for you. He wants you to renew your mind. He wants your mind controlled by His thinking, by truth. Most importantly, He does not want you to renew your mind to just anything; it is to renew your mind to the truth. https://gr8relate.com
12. FORGIVE AND YOU SHALL BE FORGIVEN ALSO Matthew 18:21-35
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
WHAT YOU DO TO others will determine what God will do to you. Don’t be like the unforgiven man in the above scripture. FORGIVE!!!
Submitting your life to Jesus will equip you to let go of hurt feelings.
Pray this prayer with me
Father, I come to you today just as I am; I have found my greatest challenge today I.e. I have no right standing with you because of the condemnation that passed unto all human beings. Save me as I open my heart and accept Jesus today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving me the right standing in your presence today. Amen.
As simple as it may seem to you, you are saved or born again by this prayer of faith. You have been restored to your right place before God. Get a bible if you don’t have one yet and start reading it for yourself. May the Holy Spirit also be your guide.
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