Forgiveness is For You

JanetPersonal EmpowermentLeave a Comment

Corrie ten Boom shared publicly about the gift of forgiveness and healing when she told of her story in the concentration camp during World War II. Although her sister had died, Corrie lived to share her message. 
 
Then one day….
 
A former Nazi guard, who had been part of Corrie’s terrible confinement, approached her after one of her speeches. He expressed deep gratitude for her forgiveness and thrust his hand out to shake hers. She tried to smile as she struggled to raise her own hand in return. She did not feel any warmth or charity toward this man. She willed her hand up, but it would not move. Breathing a silent prayer, she forced her hand forward.
 
“As I took his hand, the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder, along my arm and through my hand, a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.”
 
This is what happens when we continually pray for forgiveness. I remember feeling very hurt by my mother-in-law and felt that she owed me an apology. None ever came, but I continued to pray for my heart to be released of the burdensome energy that kept my love bound up. 
 
Then one day….
 
I could see her for the human being she was, trying her best to do what she thought was the right thing. I don’t know if she even knew the harm she had caused, but I do know that forgiveness is an inside job that can only be done by me, and can only be made complete by God. 
 
There is a simple way to make things happen. That way is to strengthen the driving forces (love) and weaken the retaining forces (hate). If you’ve been struggling with being able to forgive someone, chances are you’re stuck in the way you’re viewing the person. When you keep trying to prove your point, or make yourself right, you will always be frustrated. 
 
The fact of the matter is that other people see the world from their own point of view. You do not see that point of view. The more you keep trying to prove your point, the longer struggle you will have and the deeper the groove in the vicious cycle of hatred. Take whatever action you need toward strengthening your driving force of love for all mankind. That doesn't mean you have to continue to be used and abused. Having love for yourself means that you can also forgive yourself as you let go and move in a more positive, self-imposed direction.
 
Ask yourself what your driving force is and consider if you’d rather be right, or happy. Letting go of the past is easier said than done, but when you can truly forgive the past, it’s like releasing a 100-pound lead weight that has been chained to your ankle. 
 
It’s a grand relief. 
 
Forgiveness is for you! Open the gift and feel the icicles melt away from your heart.

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