As women, many of us are sensitive beings by nature. And many of us may have become quite familiar with the phrase, “just get over it” thrown at us when our feelings are hurt. It hurts to be responded to in that way, with no compassion. We fight our way through, seemingly alone at times, to figure out how to get over it. Callouses form over hearts and we become tough as we struggle to get over it. But, maybe there is another way. A way in which we can still maintain our gentle, compassionate nature and not become hardened by the brokenness that surrounds us.
The holidays are in full swing and it’s supposed to be the jolliest time of the year. But for a lot of people, it’s the most painful season because it brings up grudges from damaged or broken relationships. The other day, I asked God to show me what was holding me back from experiencing the fullness of His promises of peace & joy. I stumbled upon 2 Corinthians 2:10 that read, “I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
My eyes were immediately opened. I had been harboring some resentment and praying about the reason why. It didn’t dawn on me that I had some forgiving to do. Sometimes we hold on to unforgiveness as a shield because we think it will protect us from getting hurt again. Or we think that it sends the message that we are enabling an unjust behavior. But in actuality, it opens a door for the enemy to wreak havoc and destruction in our life. His ploys are masked in a variety of forms including; anger, bitterness, jealousy, depresssion and resentment. When we allow these toxic poisons that represent the antithesis of God, that is what will begin to manifest in your life. That’s why it is so important to keep our hearts clean from any form of bait that the enemy could latch on to. When our hearts and minds are pure and clear from harboring unforgiveness, we have made room to receive His love, his goodness and all of his amazing promises.
2 Corinthians 5 says that we are Ambassadors of Christ that have been called to the Ministry of Reconciliation. This means that we are the ones who must take the initiative to restore a relationship even when that person is the one who has wronged you and has yet to apologize. We are the leaders, we are the ones who must stand up and bring reconciliation among broken hearts, injustice & damaged relationships. This is undeniably unfair from a worldly perspective. But we are the brothers & sisters of the very One who came to show the world how it’s done. Jesus came and took the initiative to reconcile us back to God so we could receive the gift of unmerited grace. Our sins no longer are counted against us when we seek forgiveness because we have been made righteous though his Son. This also means, we are given the supernatural strength to do the hard stuff, the kind of same hard stuff Jesus did for us. All we have to do is ask for His strength and expect to receive it.
Forgiveness equals freedom. If you aren’t ready or it doesn’t seem appropriate to confront someone face to face, you can start with writing it out. There is power in writing, I actually wrote out a forgiveness letter the other day saying, “God, I forgive _____ because they are you children. 2 Corinthians 5:16 says that I should see no one from a worldly point of view so I ask that you help me to see through eyes of compassion for their sake and for the sake of my hurting heart. God I release this painful burden I am carrying to you right now and I forgive others because you have forgiven me. Thank you for being my comforter and redeemer.” Forgiveness is how to “get over it” while still maintaining compassion for yourself.
You deserve to enjoy this holiday season because Jesus has already come and reconciled us to God with abounding grace. And that is the reason for the season.
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