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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Release and Restore: Forgiveness in Relationshipsl

Have you ever given up on a relationship or noticed a difference in the way you connect with friends or your spouse because of an inability to get over past hurts and offenses? You have probably heard the saying "forgive and forget," but to someone who is upset after a challenging period in a friendship or marriage, this is often easier said than done. Many individuals use this phrase but do not understand the importance of its meaning to both the vitality of a relationship, and an individual's spiritual walk.

Unforgiveness and a refusal to let go of past hurts can haunt you for years. Imagine carrying around the fact that someone from your tenth–grade class embarrassed you in front of the entire school. Or, what if you find yourself having an "attitude" with your in–laws because you haven't gotten along in the past? Holding on to these types of situations actually hurt you more than they do the other person. It won't benefit you to remain angry with someone, instead, release the situation to God.

Relationships experience challenging times, but don't accept defeat by holding grudges and not releasing situations and people who have hurt you. Not only that, but the Word commands you to forgive others; it is a vital part of your spiritual walk. Matthew 6:14, 15 says, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." God wants you to have every opportunity to receive His blessings and when you need it, His forgiveness. Don't block God's ability to do great things in your life because you find it hard to forgive someone else.
In the process of releasing past offenses, it is important to go beyond your feelings. Forgiveness isn't a feeling, it is something that you do by faith because in your emotions, you may not feel as if you have forgiven the person. However, don't let anything keep you from forgiving and forgetting. If you are a Christian, purposing to have a forgiving heart is a quality decision that you must make. Eventually, it should become second nature because it shows your respect and love for God and others.

Remember that you can always turn to God for help where your hurt feelings are concerned. Just as you would pray to Him for stability in your finances or peace in your home, pray to Him about the hurt that you feel. God is capable of not only healing your spirit of hurt and frustration, but He can also restore your relationships. He wants to see you make the effort to respond according to His Word—in love.

Forgiveness is necessary when attempting to build and strengthen relationships. Everyone, including you, makes mistakes and the act of forgiveness in itself is a relationship strengthener. Do not condemn yourself for finding it difficult to forgive, but know that every step you take toward walking in forgiveness demonstrates growth and maturity.

Your attitude is what can make the difference when it comes to repairing relationships that go through turbulent times. The urge to argue with someone who has wronged you or continue heated discussions only serves the purpose of keeping your focus on the negative. Nothing is accomplished by seeking to have the last word in an argument; it only satisfies your flesh. Oftentimes, in the aftermath of expressing how you really feel, more damage has been done and both you and the other person walk away with more negative emotions. On the flip side, communicating your thoughts and feelings in a positive way can provide a means for understanding, healing and forgiveness.

Don't live your life carrying around the burden of unforgiveness. Instead, sincerely let go of those things that have hurt you and make a decision in your heart to move forward. Break the cycle of being hurt and holding grudges by making a decision to resolve and release conflict, pain and anger. Decide never to revisit the issues. Instead of focusing on another person's faults, focus on how you can restore the relationship. Allow the Word of God to become your final authority and use it as a tool to bring healing and restoration in your life and in the lives of others.
Be sure to take advantage of the unlimited resources available via the Online Bookstore and Bible Study Center. You will find a wealth of information to help you grow spiritually and strengthen your walk with God.

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simeone said...

yes..if it were to be based on feelings...mheenn...
thank God for grace to forgive..