Ministry Monday: Forgive for Yourself

let-your-light-shineLast week, was an overview and introduction to the mini-series Learning to Forgive.

The first step in forgiveness is to forgive for yourself.

When someone has wronged you, it is easy to become embittered towards him or her. This person can do nothing right in your eyes; “he/she deserves this punishment,” you think.

Even when our anger is justified, the feelings of bitterness and resentment can take a toll on… ourselves.

Think about the last time you were upset with someone who had wronged you. How did it make you feel? Was being angry at this person worth the time and effort it took to stay angry?

I am not saying forgiveness should be immediate. Some hurts and offenses take much longer to forgive than others.

I, myself, have managed to keep bitterness towards someone who wronged me for over TWO YEARS! Looking back at that time in my life, I can honestly say I have grown from that experience, but that the negative thinking only made ME negative (about a lot of things that had nothing to do with the situation at hand!). I literally wasted two years of my life being bitter. {Thankfully, I am older and wiser now…}

But it remains, that the first step is to forgive for yourself… to rid yourself of that brick in your stomach (aka, bitterness), to remove the stress of anger off of your shoulders, to begin the healing process.

Forgiveness does not mean you forget. I believe that once you have truly forgiven a person, you still remember the wrong, but it doesn’t hurt as badly as it once did.  And once that person begins to try and earn your trust again, that is when the forgetting begins.

Once you forgive for yourself, you can begin to work on forgiving the other person…

Design by: Amy Loves It! *Photo by: Markus Merz*

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Comments

  1. Emilie says:

    Ok, you’ve really got me thinking with this Forgiveness series, but I have a question. Don’t know if you can or even feel comfortable answering it or not:

    How do you forgive the person if they keep wronging you? I have a father and inlaws who I try to forgive and move on with, but they continue to hurt me and my family. I’m just so lost trying to find something in the Bible to help me!
    .-= Emilie´s last blog ..Save A Lot Printable Coupons =-.

    • Amy Norton says:

      Oh Emilie! I feel for you. Yes, this is a tough subject… but I will do a bit of research, and speak with my husband on this. I want you to know that I am praying for you, and will definitely be getting back to you on this… I will email you personally as soon as I find something that might help. But, I am definitely praying for you. This is a VERY good question, and one I definitely need to address in this series.

  2. Holly Buxton says:

    hey amy…you know your pastor’s wife (aka VA) has a great way of forgiving that that she taught me growing up…keep a list of the positive qualities that person has with you at all times. When you have a tendancy to focus on that person’s faults and failures, turn your thought upward and make it a habit to thank God for the positives that you can find in that person or relationship. This process HONESTLY helped heal my heart after being estranged from my in laws for the first few years of our marriage and now my in laws are my biggest fans!!! There are still disappointments but those are outweighed by the freedom that comes from the habit of forgiveness. love ya girl and am excited to see how God uses your willing heart!

  3. Emilie says:

    Ok, me again. Not to be lil’ Miss Debbie Downer (lol), but what if you can’t find any positive qualities in these people? I mean, seriously, it’s sad that it’s to the point that these people in my life have hurt me (and continue to do so) so badly, I just can’t even see the positive side of it. It pains me mostly for my children who are ages 1 and 3.

    I want to go about this in a Christian way, and show my children what is right and wrong. I’m just to my breaking point with these family members.

    I appreciate any prayers, and any further thoughts/advice. Thanks so much!
    .-= Emilie´s last blog ..Save A Lot Printable Coupons =-.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] But, that is our human nature… it is not in us to automatically dish out forgiveness to those who have wronged us. We easily slide into the “victim” mode and hold that wrong against that person. We know the toll that unforgiveness can take on your life and your body, and why it is important to forgive for yourself. [...]

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