Victoria my eight-year old daughter has been a wonderful tool in my household to teach forgiveness. Being naturally independent, she sometimes pursues things without considering the consequences of her actions. Our biggest problem with her right now is trying to get her to slow down and listen. Her heart is in the right place, she just has to stop and calm down to get what we are saying. When she has disobeyed, impulse would have me react loudly and with profound power. God has been working with my heart to try to soften the responses that I offer to my child. I know that I can wound her or aid in her growth.
Taking the first step
Forgiveness is the first step in correcting her. If I react before I forgive her, my reaction may not be representing God’s heart toward her. Keep in mind that God will correct, but never condemn. His goal is to allow us to grow and learn from our mistakes. This should be our goal with our selves and the people that are in our lives.
Just recently, she had done something that needed immediate correction and was very irritating. The consequence of her action affected our entire household. She had started to condemn herself and felt that she messed up everything, all of the time. If she had chosen to embrace that thought, it would have become a belief pattern that would have undermined her the rest of her life. Un-forgiveness toward our selves will invite torment into our hearts. After explaining to her why her action was wrong, I allowed the love of God to flow through my heart and felt that I needed to go to her room and pray with her.
The Truth of the matter
The truth that Victoria received in prayer was that she did not make mistakes all of the time and that God had made her a strong and beautiful girl. He told her to not believe the lie and to allow her mistakes to teach her. This comforted her and immediately she asked God, Greg and myself to forgive her. Most importantly, she forgave herself.
Un-forgiveness acts like a poison within our system. It affects our bodies, mind and spirit, keeping us from the peace of God and the health that he has promised us. It will actually block the blessing of God in our lives. If we truly can take a step back from a situation and really see what is going on behind the scenes, we will begin to see from God’s vantage point. Most people do not intend to hurt others; they are just reacting out of their own bondage and issues. It is too much work to be upset and hold onto un-forgiveness just because someone said or did something bad to us.
Understanding the power of Me
Understanding that I and only I hold the power within me to be hurt or not hurt, I simply observe others and know that we are all human and have issues. Our issues are daily reminders that we need a loving God who can fix us. When dealing with others, we must first forgive them even when they are not asking for it. Families have been divided, friendships broken, hearts wounded and sickness birthed all under the power of un-forgiveness. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to this state of the heart that does not line up with God’s word.
Forgiveness allows us to walk in the peace and harmony of God. Why would we let someone steal that from us? Let’s not condemn ourselves or anyone else to the poison of un-forgiveness. Walking with the power of forgiveness, loving all of God’s creation, we will walk in freedom. We don’t need the cooperation of the other person to allow God to change our hearts.