For those who know me, you are fully aware of how much there is to forgive. In my life, I’ve had to offer forgiveness to people even when they absolutely didn’t deserve it. Giving and getting forgiveness are mega-parts of life and God says they are significant on the path to living free. This guest post by Nancy Alcorn shows you what I mean.
Bold Living podcasts (on a wide variety of topics) are archived on my website. Diane Markins
Forgiving the Jerk Who Hurt Us
excerpt taken from Ditch the Baggage, Change Your Life by Nancy Alcorn
Trish was saved at age eight and grew up in church. She married a Christian boy and just knew they were moving in the same direction with God.
But one day her husband told her he had never loved her and that he was leaving. Trish did not see it coming, and it shocked everyone in their circle of friends. To make it worse, their daughter was fifteen months old when he left.
Trish soon realized that she had placed a great deal of confidence in her husband and marriage instead of in the Lord. She had made her husband and family an idol, looking to him to fix everything in her life and to supply all her emotional and spiritual needs. She repented of those things, but her heart was filled with grief. She had lived right, gone to church, attended premarital counseling, married a Christian, attended Bible studies, and planned to raise her kids in the church. Divorce was never on her radar. Pretty much every dream she had for her life lay shattered.
She found herself asking the Lord questions like, “Are You even real? Everything I feel I was standing on is gone.” There were many tears and much yelling at the Lord, but little by little, God revealed to her that He was real and trustworthy. He met her financial and emotional needs. He took care of her daughter’s needs. But it took time.
The hardest thing for Trish was forgiving her ex-husband and not allowing bitterness to take root. Like a gardener determined to keep the soil free of weeds, she dug up bitterness wherever it sprouted. She realized that forgiveness does not come naturally— she had to learn to forgive.
When someone hurts you, the enemy wants you to believe that forgiveness doesn’t make sense, that it’s dangerous, idealistic, and unfair. When I was a new believer it wasn’t even on my radar to forgive. I was happy about my relationship with God but there were still people I was mad at. Then one day I came across Matthew 6:14–15 where Jesus said, “For if you forgive men for their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men for their sins, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”
That sounded pretty ironclad to me. I certainly wanted God’s forgiveness, and to get it I had to forgive others. I knew He wouldn’t be making any exceptions for Nancy Alcorn. I had to learn how to forgive.
He won’t make exceptions for any of us. To walk in freedom we must become experts at forgiving others—not just benchwarmers but power sluggers. We want to be so good at forgiving that we make the Forgivers All-Star Team. I promise you it’s the only way to walk in total freedom and avoid falling into traps of bitterness.
For more on the Ditch the Baggage series, including book, study, and videos, visit www.MercyMultiplied.com/DitchTheBaggage.
Authored By Diane Markins