Forgiveness is Key–Part II
I was recently at a writer’s conference with other Christian writers. I met one of the speakers for the first time, even though I’d emailed her before. She was pleasant to talk to and I felt a connection with her which I hope we can develop further.
I attended her fiction-track session and it was interesting. But during her presentation, she said something that grieved my heart. Her emotional pain and wounding spilled out. Her big thing is “truth.” People should be truthful in their writing, tell the truth. What she meant by this is to not gloss over, cover up or dilute the truth of what we’re writing.
As an example, she used a story from her own life about “truth.” She has teenage son who is disabled because her doctor was legally drunk at the time of delivery. The doctor had lied to her about being sober. Oh, the pain of it as she told the story. I could tell she was trying very hard to hold back the venom, the poison in her soul she felt for this doctor. She admitted she couldn’t forgive. She said, “God forgives, but I can’t.” Eek!
My heart grieved, because as much as this woman wants to tell the truth, wants to believe truth, wants to be honest in truth, she’s in great deception. She has allowed a very painful episode to practically ruin her life. You wouldn’t think her life is ruined to look at her. She’s a successful novelist, presenter, and she espouses to believe in Christ.
Here’s some truth from God’s Word she probably chooses to ignore herself, because of her pain. Matthew 6:14-15 says (NKJV) “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (emphasis mine)
I’ve learned a lot about forgiveness in my life. I had to learn forgiveness early in life, when childhood playmates discovered they easily hurt my feelings. My mother taught me to forgive. That I had to.
Later on, in college, Oral Roberts taught me this: that when we don’t forgive, it’s harder on us. The other person may not even know they’re hurting you so much. For you not to forgive, hurts you, not them.”
Since then, I’ve learned that forgiveness is not forgetting, it is not saying the offense/hurt didn’t happen–it’s a release. We release them. We don’t say they’re not guilty, it’s merely we release them. When we hold on to offense, anger, bitterness or grudge, it affects us in so many ways, physically, spiritually, and in our souls. Unforgiveness promotes cell breakdown in our bodies, causing our immune systems to not work properly. We become more susceptible to illness and debilitating conditions. I made a decision early on, to forgive even when it hurt. Spiritually, if this woman were to die tonight, I shudder to think where she’d go. She thinks she’s a Christian, but her unforgiveness is killing her. Her soul is poisoned and she has hardened her heart. I’ve been praying that God softens it, and brings her healing. She is in dire need of it.
I looked up the word Jesus used for forgiveness in that passage. It can mean anything from unintentional to intentional faults, transgressions, sins, and offenses.
After hearing this author tell her story, I believe she thinks the trespass was intentional, but it really wasn’t. It was a huge lapse in judgment on the doctor’s part. But to hold on to the pain, even though she has to live with it every day because of her son’s condition, there’s such freedom waiting for this author if she will only embrace it. If she will choose to forgive.
Corrie ten Boom had as much reason as anyone to hold a grudge, yet she did not. She was imprisoned during WWII in a German concentration camp with a cruel commandant. Years later, she saw him again, and God told her she had to forgive him his brutality. She did. It brought him to Christ. The second picture says,
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”
So, with Caesar, I ask “What is truth?” I know the answer. Truth is Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I’m praying that someone who knows this woman well can help her see the truth, since she says it’s so important to her. Yet she has distorted truth to fit her wounded soul.
Release the pain. Gain freedom. Gain joy. Gain God’s forgiveness. What about you? Is there someone you can’t forgive? Leave me a comment and let me know.