8 Guidelines Toward True Forgiveness for 2011

What would you say is the single, most outstanding thing about God? What’s His most important characteristic? Some people would say it’s His power, His holiness or His goodness or how much He loves us and so forth. But I believe God Himself would give a totally different answer.

In Exodus 33 Moses asks God to show him His glory.  The word “glory” refers to the heaviest, biggest, grandest thing about someone. It’s the sum total of their worth.
So what Moses was actually saying was, “Lord, I want to see the weightiest thing about You. I want to know Your grandest attributes.” What did God say to him in response?

Exodus 34:6-7 tells us, “The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.”

As we approach the end of another year we begin to reflect. It is during these reflections that we come to hard choices and decisions.

One of those choices that we have to make is forgiving people that have hurt us. It is a choice to make that decision. Show mercy instead of resentment toward that person. It will set YOU free!

Here are 8 guidelines to get started.

  1. Recognize your emotion. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK.
  2. Choose what you are going to do. Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else.
  3. Know that forgiving is not pardoning. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of their action. You don’t have to go on vacation with that person. You want peace especially in your own heart.
  4. Get insight and understanding in what is happening or has happened. Choose to get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts that are going on and not what offended you or hurt you two minutes – or ten years – ago.
  5. You have to choose your reaction to the situation. Don’t let the situation rule over you and throw you around.  Yield to the Holy Spirit who is always there to help and guide you into the right direction.
  6. Understand that you are the only one that controls you. Give up expecting things from other people, or your life, that they do not choose to give you.
  7. Choose to not replay it over and over in your mind. Draw near to God; He is your help in time of need.
  8. Move forward in life and not dwell on the past. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving the person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty and kindness around you.

This way you can enter 2011 with a clean slate and conscience.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.


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