Celebrate With Forgiveness! Tuesday, February 14… Valentines Day… a day that is associated with love, chocolates, and pretty little hearts with arrows through them. A hard day to celebrate if you are full of resentment and anger. Forgiveness… what an important issue I have clients work on.
Problem: Anger and resentment are like heavy rocks that you carry 24/7. Not only do you have to remember why you are angry, you have to rehearse it in your mind until it occupies a great deal of space in your head. Ironically, the person you are angry with is often unaware of your anger or resentment!
Steps to a solution:
1. First make a list of those you are angry with or hold resentments toward. Don’t question whether you want or need to forgive, just make the list.
2. When the list is complete, use “sentence stems” like: John, I forgive you for ____________. Then fill in the blank with as much as you want to write. Do this for each person on your list.
3. Make a decision to forgive each one for the reasons you have indicated. Forgiveness is a choice and a decision of your will. Sometimes we have to forgive over and over until we are free. Notice I said “we” are free… not the other person. We are the ones who have been carrying around the heavy rocks, not them.
Incentive: When forgiving, we release these people to God. He will deal with them justly and fairly for that is His job. What you gain by forgiving is freedom… freedom from your pain.
I remind clients: forgiveness is a conscious decision to live peacefully with the consequences of another person’s sins. Forgiveness is done from our hearts! Revisit your list… stay with the first person listed until you feel you have written enough, and then pray…
Prayer: “Lord, I choose to forgive (insert name) for (insert offense). I release my anger and relinquish my right to seek revenge. Thank you, Father, for setting me free from this bondage of hatred and bitterness. I ask you to bless (insert name). I lift (insert name) up to you as I experience the gift of freedom and peace!”
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” Matthew 5:9