BEAUTY FOR ASHES: FORGIVENESS
For four years, I did not speak to one of my parents.
I had a lot of anger, resentment and bitterness within my soul (mind, emotions and feelings) toward them. I judged many of their decisions as wrong, negative and foolish.
Who gave me the right to judge what’s right and what’s wrong?
I thought the solution to the protection of my physical, emotional and mental health was to completely cut them out of my life.
The problem with this solution is, that physically removing oneself from someone doesn’t bring complete healing because if there is unforgiveness within one’s heart or soul, that will be carried with them to their new location even absent from the one they’ve separated from. I’m not saying that temporarily or permanently removing oneself isn’t an option. It may be necessary in some cases.
What I am saying is that changing your physical address isn’t the complete solution IF you still have unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment living within your heart.
Unforgiveness is a terrible roommate.
Especially if you were like me, a born-again Christian, with Jesus living inside of your heart by the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit housed Himself inside my heart but there was this harsh, revengeful, and destructive roommate that I allowed into the home of my heart and soul; and his name was unforgiveness. He was deteriorating everything within his sphere of my soul: emotions, feelings, mind, will and intellect.
Unforgiveness is cancer to the spirit, soul and body. Cancer destroys the health of the organisms within the body. Therefore, when likening unforgiveness as to cancer, unforgiveness destroys the health of humanities spirit, soul, body which then in turn destroys the health of humanities relationship with God (if there is one) and relationship with others.
God tells us to guard our hearts against unforgiveness because He knows it’s destructive power.
Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.”
God’s word is a protective boundary; like a fence around the property of a home to keep pests from destroying what’s within. God’s Word is like a security system in a home. It protects what is within. And what’s valuable is worth protecting.
When I was in my second year of Bible college at Rhema Bible Training College, my house got robbed. Although all the doors were locked, I had neglected to lock one window. The thief climbed through that unlocked window and stole valuable items such as: clothes, shoes, makeup and jewelry. I am a cosmetologist, so they stole over $4,000 worth of hair tools. And worst of all, they stole my roommate’s laptop and passport. My roommate was negatively affected because of my choice to not lock one window.
Failing to guard the property of one’s heart from unforgiveness, jealousy or bitterness will have parallel, if not worse affect upon EVERY area of your life. You’ve consented to the thief to steal, kill and destroy by not having the proper and secure boundaries in place to protect what’s within.
Who do we know as the one who steals, kills and destroys life?
John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”
Deceived, I judged my parent as ‘my enemy,’ instead of seeing the Devil as my true enemy. I fell into his trap of unforgiveness and sentenced my parent to a lifetime of punishment by cutting them out of my life.
Who gave me the right to come up with a punishment?
God sets the standard of right and wrong, and He’s the only One entitled to address the cause and effects of this standard. It wasn’t my responsibility, but I tried to make myself ‘god’ by deciding what was wrong and what was right. I thought my feelings of pain, hurt and sorrow entitled me to ‘punish’ my parent, the one I deemed as ‘the enemy.’
But I wasn’t aware of the devastating effects that the devils trap of unforgiveness’ would have upon my heart, soul, body, relationships and every area of my life. I followed in the footsteps of the devil himself who tried to make himself God: “I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High,” recorded in Isaiah 14:14 of the Bible.
What was the outcome of the devil wanting to make himself as God?
Isaiah 14:15, “But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.”
The devil’s destiny was death. Death is separation from life. God is life. Therefore, the devil was separated from God and casted into the depths of the pit of hell.
Unforgiveness puts one into a pit and prison of deterioration. And that is where I found myself.
Job 33:22, “They draw near to the pit, and their life to the messengers of death.”
Unforgiveness blames another person for their negative physical, emotional or mental state. But the reality is, that is a prison cell willingly chosen by those who embrace unforgiveness.
You say: but you don’t know what they have done to me!
You are probably right; I don’t know what they have done to you. But God does. And He says in Isaiah 61:2, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.”
Another word for vengeance is revenge: the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.
Isn’t this the mission of the one whose embracing unforgiveness?
Many of us who are harboring unforgiveness have high levels of jealousy, are hateful toward others in our thoughts, words and actions and backbite, slander or gossip consistently. Those who are in a state of unforgiveness tend to be immensely manipulative, controlling and deceptive in their thought’s words and actions.
They are seeking revenge on the one they’ve chosen to be offended at. But the only One who has grounds for revenge is God toward humanity.
When God created Adam and Eve, the first humans, He gave a responsibility over to Adam to guard and protect their home, the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:15 and 16, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
God established a boundary with His Word, but Adam neglected to protect his home and everything that was within it, including his relationship with God and his wife Eve. The thief came, the devil, and deceived Eve into disobeying God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The account is recorded in Genesis chapter 3.
Sin wrought death as their destiny. Sin wrought death as all of mankind’s destiny. We deserve this enslavement. I deserve to be imprisoned in a pit of hell for all of eternity because of my sins, as do you.
But God chose not to harbor unforgiveness at this betrayal. He chose to express unconditional love through forgiveness toward all of mankind; and He’s extending it to you today.
Isaiah 61:1-2, “…To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor.”
The Year of The Lords Favor is also referred to as the Year of Jubilee. Which refers to the freedom and liberty Gods people would have released to them every 50 years. Those who had sold themselves as slaves would regain their liberty and all real property would return to its original owner.
It’s time for you to allow Jesus to gain or regain the property of your heart, home and life again!
Some of you reading this have harbored unforgiveness toward people for months, years or maybe even 5 decades. Today is your day of freedom from the enslavement of unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy and resentment that your spirit, soul and body has been in. You recognize that you’ve been deteriorating in a prison and today you’d like to be liberated by Jesus Christ.
Mark 11:25, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.”
You know those people that you need to forgive and right now you are going to do that. Say this following prayer out loud:
“Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus name, I am sorry for harboring unforgiveness toward (insert name). I realize that I am in a prison of pain, sorrow, jealousy, bitterness and resentment because of my choice to not forgive. I surrender to you now. I choose to forgive (insert name). I choose to forgive them just how you’ve forgiven me of my sins. Heal my heart from the past. Heal my soul, my mind, my emotions, my feelings from the pain of the past. I think the best of them. I pray for them. I move forward into the future, healed and whole by the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Jesus came into this earth as God to change mankind’s destiny.
God became a slave to sin by becoming sin upon the cross through Jesus Christ. He died and went to hell on your behalf. He chose to be destroyed for the sinful actions of mankind. He sent vengeance upon His Son.
Jesus didn’t deserve this. We did. But His great love for us drove Him to do so. Three days later God raised Jesus from hell; forever changing the destiny of the future of those who would believe and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
If you have never done this, you stand guilty of your sins. You are deserving of hell. But you can receive God’s forgiveness today, be cleansed and be liberated from hell. Heaven will be your destiny if you say this prayer out loud:
“Heavenly Father, I believe in my heart Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe Jesus died for my sins. God I’m sorry for all my sins and I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you raised Jesus from the dead and I say with my mouth Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Now I am saved, I have chosen life and I am Heaven bound. In the name of Jesus. Amen.”
If you have said this prayer out loud and meant it in your heart, I want to hear from you! Subscribe to receive prayer, content and future blogs on Beauty For Ashes HOME page. In the comments write me about your decision to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior today.