Reviewing the past to the point of obsession or projecting the future to the point of worry does me no good in the present moment. One clear way to manage the past is to have real, cleansing forgiveness which also means to forget. It isn’t forgiveness if you are still remembering the hurts, still obsessing about the situation, not REALLY letting go of the hurt feelings toward the person you claim to forgive. And is it just me, but the harder you force yourself to forgive, the less forgiving you feel?
In order to truly forgive I have to make it a process. I wasn’t blessed with having a forgiving, soft heart. I grew up jaded, angry and scared. This is probably textbook forgiveness to “normal” people, but for me, I like things spelled out!
First I need to invite God into the situation and admit I am not in my right mind. Admit I’m upset and why I’m upset and who I’m upset with. This usually leads to a realization that the situation or person I’m upset with affected my self-esteem, security or ambitions. When those things are threatened, I get scared. Since the opposite of fear is faith, when we resent someone or something we aren’t living in faith. When we are unable to let go of hurts we aren’t living in the sunlight of the spirit, we aren’t able to recognize God’s blessing’s in our life, instead we are consumed with fear or remorse or paralysis and laziness and we certainly aren’t fulfilling God’s purpose for our life.
Try listing your hurts. List the causes. Examine what area of your life was affected. Then honestly examine if you were selfish, dishonest, self-seeking or afraid in the situation. You may just realize you not only need to forgive, but you may need to ask God’s forgiveness for a lack of faith and trust in Him.
“Surrender to God’s will does not give us a passport to inertia. Each of us must try to carry out God’s will, which He transmits to us in ways we recognize only after we have made ourselves willing and aware.”