We are designed to love and be in relationship. I find the human heart and emotions to be one of the most amazing miracles in God’s creation. But like I wrote on Tuesday we are imperfect and we wound each other…and by choosing to love you are always risking the possibility of being hurt.
“Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give your heart to no one. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love, is hell.” C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
When our hearts get hurt we then have choices about how to deal with it. We can choose to forgive or hold on to our righteousness and focus on all the ways we have been wronged. It can feel good for a moment to think about revenge or justice…it can even be comforting to hold on to anger and bitterness. Here are a few of my thoughts on why forgiveness is essential for freedom.
- Choosing forgiveness means you are no longer controlled by the emotions of a situation. You are not captive to anger and bitterness but let it go and open your heart to life and love. This takes a tremendous amount of humility and courage.
- You can’t receive forgiveness without being able to give it…one of the great spiritual paradoxes. If we REALLY accept our identity as ABSOLUTELY forgiven by God…forgiveness should flow from us.
- Choosing to forgive means you let go of being a “victim”
- Choosing to forgive is a gift you can give yourself
- Choosing to forgive DOES NOT mean we continue to subject our self to unhealthy behavior but recognize that we can’t change the past and don’t want to be controlled by it.
- Forgiveness should never be forced but if your heart is honestly open to it have faith that you will find it