Matthew 18:21, 22. Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”
Today I want to reflect on the gift of forgiveness. It takes a brave heart to be able to forgive yourself and others. If we continue to live on this earth, we must learn to give this out generously. I think as humans we get so stuck in our expectations of how life should turn out and get disappointed. The bible tells us that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55), and therefore we are to learn the skill of flexibility.
What makes it difficult for us to forgive is the inability to let go. When we get certain ideas, we run with them and do not always include or take into account that God’s will is the one that always prevails. As the statement goes, “not everything that glitters is gold”. When we fail at our attempts, or other people fail us at the expectations that we had, we must learn to deal with the disappointment and then let it go. The issue is that people can go on for many years with a trace of bitterness because they are unable to let go of what they wanted in life. It is sad when we get discouraged, especially when we have given our all to projects, supporting others, relationships, etc. however, we cannot afford to be stuck there. It is time to the learn skill of letting go.
When we release and let go, we can put our faith in a God that knows it all, a God that wants the best for us. We do our part, but we must also allow God to propel us to even greater heights. He cannot do this without our willingness. He may sometimes ask us to let go of our ideas and to free ourselves from certain things so that we move in the direction He has planned for us, a direction that may be completely different from what we expected. The ability to let go frees our thoughts. When we keep replaying the same old scenarios and holding on to what should have been we are messing with our brains. We limit our brains from coming up with new and fresh strategies that could work better.
How does letting go look like? It is a simple process that requires commitment and discipline. You start by speaking it and saying, “I forgive myself for this (whatever your situation is)”. The bible says faith comes by hearing; this means to must speak it multiple times until you start believing this. It is not based on feelings or how much you want to do it. The more you speak it daily, the easier it will become to believe and eventually practice it. When a situation presents itself, your brain will remind you that you are a person that can let go and forgives. I would suggest you go on a 21-day journey where you speak it every morning. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how much you forgive yourself and others. It may feel extremely weird at first however, with time it will settle in your brain and will become a reality. Try not to complicate it but stopping the process because it feels weird. Simply take it as a task that must be done and that will yield good fruit. With time you will recognize that you feel much lighter and less attached to the situation that weighed you down.
Your soul (mind, will, and emotions) must be repaired for you to move into new beginnings and levels that God has in store for you. You can either allow acceleration or delay depending on your agreement to the situation. When you agree to forgive and let go, you start seeing this differently. You realize that sometimes, the situations that happen are a blessing, although they started on a frustrating note.
I encourage you to allow forgiveness to be a lifestyle. The ability to forgive sets you and your mind completely free. Although the situation may be the same, you become transformed and less offended by it. May you get to a place of releasing this gift for the deserving and non-deserving. Free your soul today by forgiving yourself too. As we journey through our mistakes and those of others, we can become better people.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” -Matthew 6:12.