We have been discussing forgiveness for several days: what it is, what it isn’t, and why it is important. Today, I will tell you about the aspect of forgiveness that pushed me to really forgive even though it seemed hard to. You see, I played a lot of sports and was a very competitive person…my kids would say I still am. When I got wronged, my competitive nature (as well as some other baggage) would kick in. I wasn’t going to let anybody beat me! I needed my rival to realize that I was in control of them…that I wasn’t beaten…that they would hurt more than me.
To satisfy my competitive nature, I needed something from them. For them to admit they were wrong, or take responsibility for their action, maybe feel some significant pain or suffer a consequence, to pay a penance for their transgression against me, or for them to make the hurt all better. Do you realize the problem this mindset makes for me? My happiness, relief, or comfort depended on the other person doing “something.”
Therefore, I was giving my “rivals” power over me, because they can withhold the “something” that I needed as long as they wanted. Me needing that “something” from them puts me in a dependent position to them and what they want to do. I had trouble seeing the relationship with them clearly and moving forward because I still needed “something” from them.
Bitterness, inferiority, fear, rage, nervousness, injustice, revenge, and many other uneasy feelings would course through me when I saw or thought of my rivals or transgressors. A lot of my behaviors were to try to inflict pain on them or push them to see how they wronged me. Finally, I realized how much power and influence over me I was granting them. I figured out I don’t want to give them the power, but also, I don’t handle the power well myself. So I decided to give the power over to God. He has the power, deserves the power, and will always see that justice is administered. I just need to let God do His job and I can then follow God’s instructions to me.
Today, try to identify people that have power over you, or who negatively dominate your thought world. Chances are you probably haven’t really forgiven them and still need “something” from them for you to move forward. Think why you need that “something”. That is your issue. Quit pointing the finger at others. God has given you way more than you could ever need or want, so what can someone else possibly give you that you think you can’t move on without? Your choice whether you will give them power over you or not, so choose well.
Dear Father, thanks for helping me learn how to forgive. Help me desire, think, and act in such a way that You are the one I want to have power over me. Help me to really see the forgiveness You extend to me and not worry about what others will or will not do. Help me see the evil one as the real enemy, and not think my transgressor is the enemy. I pray in the name of Jesus and His forgiving blood; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.