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Forgiveness Part 1

It is unevolved to harden your heart to another person. It lacks compassion and peace in your heart. There is no excuse for holding your heart stiff to another person. It shows you do not understand that God is inside that other person as well as God is in you. God loves what God made. So to stay in a permanent discord with another person is against God. The tendency for people to hold grudges based on stupid things like religion, making a career or family decision that you disagree with, or having an ideology that you disagree with, is against God’s commandment to love one another. You cannot love if you hate someone. You cannot love if you hold a grudge against someone for what they said, what they believe in, or how they behave. They may not know it offends you. They may not think it has anything to do with you. They are usually sincere and well-meaning in their intention to do good. Be patient with people and give them the freedom to make decisions like you would expect them to do for you. If someone is actually harming another person, you should tell them that it is hurting others. If it is criminal, then you should report it because they will do it to others besides you or probably already have. But forgiveness is much nobler than stubbornness or rigidity. Forgiveness is blessed because God cannot forgive you unless you forgive others.

Forgiveness means you release a person from owing you before they pay for their crime. You give before they ask for it. You wash your heart clean of the anger, the resentment and the hurt for whatever the other person did or said to you. In most cases, people are well-intentioned and actually are trying to do well by other people and to treat other people kindly. It is a rare individual who deliberately hates people enough to want to hurt them.  In times of anger and jealousy, a person can rage and really do some harm and actually intends to. But those instances are criminal and occasional. If you start with the premise that people are essentially good and that they they mean well, then you will not be so suspicious that people are out to get you or want to hurt you. This way you will be in a better frame of mind to forgive instead of holding a person accountable for your misinterpretation of what their motives were. You do not know the heart of another person unless you ask them what their intention was. Then you will have the understanding to feel where they were coming from and see it from their point of view. You cannot be forgiven unless you first forgive.  God cannot and will not forgive you if you harden your heart to others and continue to resent and hold grudges against them for imagined wrongs. Let those resentments go and wash them out of you. Start a new habit of thinking well of people and accepting that they mean well. Stop using your limited understanding to justify your anger and your fears about other people.  God is inside your sister or brother just like God is inside you.  Look deeper and then you will have no trouble forgiving.

Try this meditation:

Think of somebody really meaningful in your life, someone that’s been with you from the very beginning. Somebody who through all these years became what they are today by the choices and the decisions they made for their life. See the things they resisted, the things they complained about, the things they loved and the things they embraced.

See yourself in your present condition and look back on all the choices you made. Feel all the tension you threw into your body, and the fears that locked you down. Feel all the opinions that distorted your vision and the fierce ways you needed to be important. I want you to ask God for forgiveness for the choices that you made. If you

don’t know what you chose, ask God to show you. Ask God to show you what you chose versus what you could have chosen. Was nobody there? Or did you push them away? Did you avoid responsibility to make them pay? Forgive yourself for that and then ask God to forgive you.

Did you power trip your way through life or make everyone suffer who tried to get close to you? Did you try to be so hard to understand that you wouldn’t let anyone know you? Were you so difficult in receiving people’s love for you? Ask God to forgive you for that defensive maneuver.

Who are you under all the tricks? Ask God to forgive you for not wanting to know who you are; for hiding from yourself. Ask God to forgive you for acting like you knew things when you were just terrified. Now forgive yourself for each one of these things. Let God’s forgiveness soak in deeply so you can learn how to forgive yourself in the same way.

Say, “God forgive me for not forgiving other people and hardening my heart to them. Help me to forgive them now. Oh God forgive me for being mad that I have to change.”

Then forgive yourself for all the ways you avoided responsibility and growth.

(Jesus, Forgive Me)

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