Forgiveness is not an event…

Today, during another teaching from Rich Nathan at Vineyard Columbus Church, we learned the difference between forgiving and floor mats.  As believers, we are called to forgive as we’ve already been forgiven. Forgiving does not mean we become floor mats for another. To forgive means to let go, to set free, to release. When we forgive, oddly enough, it is our own selves whom are most set free.

We can, however, set limits to another persons behaviors.

We can set limits on behaviors we tolerate. We cannot limit forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean reunion or reconciliation. Forgiveness only requires one heart – my own. Reconciliation, on the other hand, requires both parties. You, friend, can control your heart. Is there someone whom you still hold in contempt, disgust, and in the clenches of your mind?

Forgive. Let go. Set free. Release.

“To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian character; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life – to keep on forgiving the bossy mother in law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son – how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what he says.”      C.S. Lewis

Today, I learned a thing or two about forgiveness. My biggest learning? It’s a process, not an event. Forgiveness is a process. Today, I began the process of letting go, setting free, and releasing a wrong done to me by a close friend. I peeled away the first layer of pain, let it go, released it. I’m not done, simply starting the process of forgiving. Good…


1 thought on “Forgiveness is not an event…

  1. An important “and” which came up with a reader blessed by your blog is our justice thread. Those of us who trust in a judge who judges justly know that setting someone free through forgiveness does NOT mean they will still not be dealt with by our Heavenly Father. This is how we can forgive and still have our justice thread satisfied. When I have tried to exact my own justice I have ended up in this same courtroom being disciplined for repaying evil with evil. To err is human, to forgive? Divine. God help us. And KEEP helping us when triggers or new consequences remind us of the wound and the need to forgive again to continue OUR healing process.

    Help us teach the truth and power of this principle as we practice. Help our leaders choose to go first.

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