continuation of my journaling from Chapter 6:
Pg. 83 ~ “….if I forgave him, he would be getting away with what he had done to me.” “He is evil. He destroyed everything good in my life to satisfy his sick needs. I knew it was wrong but to be completely honest it felt good, it felt right to hate him”
- I have felt this way more times than I like to admit.
Pg. 85/86 ~ Wendy writes: How did this story (Matthew 18:23-35, the parable of the unforgiving debtor) apply to me? The King represented God. I was the debtor. He forgave my $10 million debt and was asking me to forgive a $2000 debt. What was the debt? My right for revenge. My right to exact punishment on my attacker. If I did not forgive this debt, I would live the rest of my life in a prison of my own making. The parable ends with powerful words ~ ‘this is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you. Unless you forgive your brother from your heart.’
- And I have been living in a prison. At first it was a prison of fear. Then it turned into a prison of controlling behavior. Then to a prison of emptiness and loneliness. The whole time I have had the key to freedom but made a choice not to use it.
Pg 86 ~ “God was clear, but how could I make my heart feel forgiveness?”
- I need to know this!! I do forgive but only because I know I am suppose to but I know I don’t in my heart completely. I still hold pain and hurt!
- Wendy continues: “God showed me that forgiveness was not about a feeling. It was a deliberate choice I had to make: moreover, to make it my heart had to change.” “….forgiveness requires a humble heart. Pride, the right to be right, must be set aside.”
Pg 86 ~ “Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who, though He was God did not demand and cling to His rights as God, but laid aside His mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.”
- This is so hard to do when in the midst of hurt and pain. Why is it so hard? Because the devil attacks us telling us how we don’t deserve the pain we are in and then because we agree we start thinking about OURSELVES instead of what Jesus did for US.
These following passages really spoke to my heart:
- Pg 87 ~ “Anyone can say the words. But God wanted more. He was asking me to extend genuine forgiveness from my heart. Why was it so hard? I misunderstood the true essence of forgiveness. I thought by forgiving God was asking me to act as if my rape never happened, to forget the hurt and pain my attacker had caused.”
- Pg 87 ~ “God in His faithfulness did not give up on me. He showed me that He was not asking me to forget. My hurt and pain were valid in His eyes. They were real. However, I had allowed them to take control of my life. The ruled my heart, and as long as they did, God could not.”
- “Forgiving means: handing over to God the responsibility for justice.”
- Pg 88 ~ “Beth Moore acknowledged that although the memories were still painful, they no longer had power over her. Lack of forgiveness held her captive. Forgiveness set her free.”
Pg 88 ~ Wendy: “Before reading what Beth Moore wrote I lived by the rule that you forgave when you receive an apology because then you feel justified in extending forgiveness.”
- I have lived my whole life like this and can see so much clearer how different other areas of my life would be if I forgave when I felt the LORD putting that on my heart, instead of carrying the burden around waiting for an apology.
Pg 88 ~ “By deferring the justice to God, Beth Moore explained that an apology was no longer an issue. I could forgive, free from any contingencies. I could freely forgive, trusting God to avenge me in His time, His way.”
- To be free of carrying around the hurt, pain and all the baggage would be a wonderful feeling.
Again didn’t realize how lengthy this had become…..will post Part 3 later.