Personal Examples of Forgiveness

dog with roseWe all have examples in our lives of times we have or should have forgiven someone.
I will give you an example of forgiveness from my own life.

I have been a Christian since I was eleven. After I was married there was a situation where I felt extremely jealous of how my in-laws were preferring other kids in the family over mine. My kids were being left out.

This jealousy, bitterness and resentment consumed me. So much so that I started experiencing stomach pains.

One day as I was thinking about it, the Lord spoke to my spirit. “Look at them,” He said.
I envisioned them. They were going about their merry lives, happy as ever.

“Now look at you,” He said.

I was miserable. “Who has your jealousy and bitterness hurt?”

I realized it had hurt me, not them. I determined right then to forgive them. In my heart and mind, I let it go.

The situation did not change. They still spent more time with the other kids than with mine. However, I had peace instead of experiencing all the emotions I had felt before. I had no more stomach pains.

Let me just add one thought here–One way to obtain happiness is learning to deal with and accept things you cannot change. I had no control over how they treated my kids.

As time went on, occasionally, something would happen to cause those old feelings of jealousy to come back. And I had to decide to let it go and forgive them once again.

One day, one of these same in-laws told my then six-year-old son to leave their home and not come back. This was devastating to me. I had never experienced anything like this before. I loved my son and was, of course, very protective of him.

I also loved the person who did that. I could not stand the thought of there being a rift within the family.

I wept about it for weeks.

They eventually sent a letter of apology, saying they had been under a lot of stress and so on and so forth.

I had a decision to make. I could accept the apology at face value and forgive them. Or I could remain angry with them–cut off all ties. And continue to be miserable.

I decided to forgive them and go back to their house. I do not regret the decision. My kids and I benefitted from the restored relationship.

For years, I didn’t think about the incident except in passing. When I did think of it, I didn’t have the feeling of bitterness and resentment. And I didn’t think of it every time I saw the relative.

I thought all the feelings regarding this incident were completely resolved. However, years later, when that son was in high school, the same relative made a critical remark about him which caused all those wounded emotions to come rushing back—feelings of anger and bitterness.

I had to work through the process of forgiveness all over again. Which I did.

I know the incidences I’ve mentioned are nothing compared to what you might have experienced. Things beyond your control – often for years.

But you can forgive them. I promise. The first step is being willing to. You will be so much happier and at peace when you do.

Do it for yourself. And for those you love.

Remember, forgiveness is a process, and you might have to release things again and again until you are completely free. And forgiveness has truly taken place.

Each day is a gift. Decide today to let go of the bitterness, anger and unforgiveness.

©2019 Bev Brown – All Rights Reserved

Achieving Forgiveness

peaceThe first step in forgiveness is being willing to forgive. Sounds easy, right? It’s not easy but it IS powerful, and you can do it.

You have to determine in your heart, “I will forgive so and so for what they’ve done.”

You might have to do this many times. Every time something comes up to bring back the hurt, resentment, or bitterness, decide–once again–to forgive.

Release it. This more than likely will be a process. The deeper the hurt or offense, the longer the process may take. Don’t be embarrassed if it does take some time. The most important thing is to be willing to forgive.

This might be a foreign concept to some of you. Some people just tend to forgive more easily than others.

Then there’s the fact that some hurts are deeper than others. For example, not getting invited to a party is on a whole different level than being abused.

They both involve getting hurt and require forgiveness but one might take more time and determination to forgive.

I discussed some of the benefits of forgiving in my previous post, so I won’t go over them again.

So, how will you know you have truly forgiven?

Think of the person who you feel has wronged you. What kind of emotions does this bring up? This helps you determine if you have forgiven that person or not.

I’ve heard people say if you have truly forgiven you’ve forgotten. I do not agree with this. I do not think we can ever totally forget something that has really wounded or hurt us. Those emotions run deep.

However, you can forget to the point where you don’t think of the hurtful thing they did every time you think of that person. You can forgive to the point that you are impervious to them.

You may never have intimate interaction or fellowship with the person again, and that’s okay. Sometimes you should not.

Boundaries are healthy. Forgiveness does not mean you have no boundaries. Nor does it mean you have to embrace that person into your personal life again.

But you can get to the point where you have no feelings one way or the other. You can remember the incident without all the anger and emotions roiling inside.

That’s also not to say there will never be triggers. Depending on what has happened, there certainly might be triggers.

However, if you do constantly think of what they have done to you and feel resentful or bitter anytime you see them, or talk to them or they to you or can’t stand the sight of them, then you haven’t truly forgiven them.

I want to stress again that forgiving someone does not mean you condone what they did. It simply means you are ready to be released from the hold of bitterness and anger.

Remember, forgiveness frees you and benefits you.

Next week, I will give you some examples of how I had to forgive and how it benefitted me.

Each day is a gift—you determine what you will do with it.

Why Forgive

Let’s talk about something we hear preached and talked about so much it often becomes tedious to hear again. It has almost become mundane and its importance seemingly lessened. why

But I assure you it is as important today as ever. I’m talking about forgiveness.

You might even think, “I don’t need to read this because I don’t have anyone I haven’t forgiven.”

Hopefully, what I say will be thought provoking for you.

Forgiveness is important for both Christians and non-Christians, because the principle is the same for both.

So why forgive?

The most important reason is how it affects you.

Unforgiveness leads to resentment. Resentment leads to bitterness. Bitterness leads to hatred. Hatred ends up destroying us. It eats us up inside.

It can become your whole focus in life. When you hold unforgiveness toward someone, it can affect how you deal with everything in life.

It colors every thought and action, often causing you to miss out on the happiness and blessings around us. Even things not related to the person or incident. It filters responses.

Someone might ask a simple question or make an innocent remark, and you find yourself lashing out at them because there is an underlying sense of anger caused by unforgiveness.

Unforgiveness, bitterness and hatred can and does manifest in your physically.

In contrast, forgiveness gives you peace, while improving your spiritual, emotional and, many times, physical well-being. When you forgive, a weight feels as if it’s been lifted off your shoulders.

It releases you from the hold that person and their actions have over you. It benefits not only you, but those you love as well.

If forgiveness is so beneficial then what are some reasons people don’t or won’t forgive?

One reason is you may think the person does not deserve to be forgiven. And in the natural sense, that may be true.

Sometimes you have the idea that to forgive them means condoning what they did. In your mind, it feels like you excuse whatever it was. This is not the case.

Remember, forgiving them benefits you more than it does them. Because you forgive them does not mean you accept or condone what they did. It just means you are not going to let them and whatever they did control you and your thoughts and emotions anymore.

As a Christian I could throw in here that we didn’t deserve for Christ to forgive us but He did.

But even if you don’t claim to be a Christian, forgiveness benefits you just the same.

How does one achieve forgiveness? Check in next week to find the answer to this question.

 

Each day is a gift. Don’t waste today with unforgiveness and bitterness.

Welcome

cropped-bevbackbw.jpgHave you ever wondered how you could ever forgive someone? Especially someone who really hurt or offended you and seemed to not care in the least? Why would you even want to forgive them?

In my blog, “Reflections With Bev,” I will be addressing forgiveness and other topics we face in life. Things I’ve observed.

I hope to share truths I’ve learned along the way, discuss Bible verses and lessons I’ve learned from them, devotionals, and true life stories that may touch your emotions or just make you chuckle. Each week will be something different.

All in an effort to inspire, encourage and entertain you. My desire is that you have a happy, peaceful, fulfilled life.

My name, as you might have guessed, is Bev. I’m an older Christian woman who has experienced many heartaches and joys along life’s way. I’ve had varying roles in life, including wife, mother of three sons, grandma, great grandma, sister and aunt. Family and faith are two of my core values.

I come from a rather unique family in that I have two siblings who are Deaf and another who is Hard of Hearing. I am right between the two Deaf siblings. I will share entertaining stories of growing up with them. You might gain an awareness and insight of deafness from them.

I am a retired Sign Language interpreter. I’ve worked inside the home as well as in educational and corporate settings. Through interpreting I’ve been in a variety of situations. I traveled with a ministry as interpreter for almost five years.

Although I am not a pastor, I am an ordained minister. I try to live my life according to how I feel the Lord would want me to.

I love animals and nature. Currently, I have a sweet, six-pound little dog and a canary that keeps me entertained with his beautiful song.

I’ve learned many lessons which I hope to pass along to you in an interesting way. My desire is to make this journey called “Life” a little less of a struggle.

One of the things I’ve learned is that each day is a gift. Try to appreciate each moment.

Thank you for visiting my site. I would appreciate if you would follow me here. Let’s take this journey together.

Bev