All posts filed under: Forgiveness + Grace

The Discipline of Forgiveness

“Tonight, I pray for those who have wronged me, used me, abused me — whether knowingly or unknowingly,” I wrote while a flood of emotions began to rise up within me as I came to a resolution. “I’ve decided that it’s between them and God.” *** I had just gotten home from our weekly Saturday night prayer meeting at my church. My heart weighed so heavy, I just had to pour out my every thought into my prayer journal as soon as I got home. You see, that night after prayer, my Bishop had challenged our church to do something I honestly feel we as Christians don’t do enough. He asked us to pray for our enemies. He referenced Job 42:10 where Job prayed for his friends and the Lord gave Job twice of what he had before. “We all know those ‘friends’ were really Job’s enemies,” Bishop Huntley continued, “The only thing keeping us from our double blessing is not praying for our enemies.” Then, he had us do something that changed the way I …

When the Past Is Holding Onto You

It’s me Lord. I’ve been hurt. This sincere, six-worded phrase is one that I find myself speaking in prayer over and over again. I have learned over the course of my life that in order to get through a situation, I must confront it. By confronting my situation, I mean bringing it to the feet of Jesus and letting Him take care of it. It’s not because I am easily offended, but this prayer is an overflow of feelings that emerge due to my past. Growing up, we experience situations and learn many lessons that cultivate us into the adults that we are. However, one very important lesson that we miss is the one about forgiving the past and letting go. We are frail human beings compelled by circumstances we have no control over and cannot change. Sadly, our future actions are governed by the hurts of our past, and we miss out on growing to the potential God has set for us. God never intended for us to be burdened by the things of …

Forgiving Yourself for the Silence

TRIGGER WARNING: This piece deals with non-explicit themes of domestic violence and assault.  “You know how we each have something that keeps us up at night?” The hum of the voices in the coffee shop whirled around me as I typed out the words to my friend from undergrad, Rachel. I paused and looked out the window into the depths of a late-February nighttime. The dark road of my city shimmered under the lamplights, moist from the afternoon’s rain shower. After the pause that all confessions require, I told her what kept my eyes open at 2 am, what tossed me around in my bed when I fell asleep, what moved through my dream state and lived as a permanent squatter in my subconscious. “For me, it’s the fact that I stayed silent.” As I hit “send,” I was transported away from the small table with my headphones and half-finished packet of organic fruit snacks and back into 2011. “I regret that I never reported it. That I just let him graduate magna cum laude …

Forgiveness Leads to Love

Think back to a time when someone hurt you. Remember how that person’s words or actions made you feel? Remember that feeling in your stomach? Remember the anger? Maybe you are still affected by it today. The Bible says that we are to forgive, no matter how hard it may be. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25). “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive, and He has given us the perfect example of forgiveness. He knew that we needed to be forgiven for our sins so He sent Jesus to save us from the consequences of our sin. If God was strong enough to allow his son to die on a cross to prove to us how much He loves us, shouldn’t we …