Forgiveness is a healing agent; repairing the spiritual wounds caused by others as well as myself. The internal process of forgiveness remains the most difficult as I continue to navigate through life as an imperfect person – destined to make mistakes. I’m always trying to “fix” things, so when I break something (e.g., hurt someone unintentionally), I wouldn’t initially forgive; I’d beat myself up more than anyone else ever could.
When I think of the situations I should have avoided or the people I shouldn’t have trusted – I found it hard to forgive myself for placing my life in harm’s way.
Through God’s Word and continuous prayer, He reminds me that He has forgiven me; therefore, it’s okay to forgive myself.
I refer to forgiveness as “healing and repairing” because it is something that lives in the present with me. In order for forgiveness to work in my life, I must keep it in the NOW; I cannot leave it in the past nor anticipate it in the future.
As it relates to others, I need forgiveness to release the pain caused by others. It has nothing to do with their remorse or apology. As we hold on to their actions, it erodes us from within. The anger, bitterness, resentfulness, etc. spills over into other areas of our lives. I’m called to lead in a world predestined to work against me. If I hold on to what others have done to me, I threaten the destruction of my purpose and weaken my effectiveness to live in that purpose.
Forgiveness is not an option, it’s a mandate from God that keeps my adversaries from winning. Despite it’s non-negotiable status, it is one of the most excruciating actions to employ; but thank God it gets better with time.
My spiritual, physical, professional and personal goals are directly linked to my being a man. Forgiveness is an invisible action with highly visible results. In the natural, I thought it would make me appear weak. In the spiritual, I’ve learned how forgiveness is like strength training for my soul. It keeps my sins from being remembered by God. It is the sledgehammer that breaks the lock of guilt, depression, anger, envy, anxiety and bitterness. The caveat is that the sledgehammer is heavy at times. Thank God I’m a man with upper-body strength!
Thankfully and prayerfully, God grants us the strength to wield that sledgehammer of forgiveness, regardless of our size. The process starts with Him. It continues with Him. I didn’t truly understand what it meant to be a man until I embraced the potency of forgiveness. It has healed decades of self-hate, bitterness against those who probably don’t remember my name and blockage between me and the Almighty God who has forgiven me countless times.
The process of forgiveness has saved my life… eternally.