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Central New Brunswick Christian Bikers




"I would like to forgive but I can't."

God does not cause bad things to happen to us, BUT He will make a way for us to endure the bad times and help us mature spiritually if we look to him in time of trouble. We are in a spiritual battle of good against evil. The enemy of our soul will do anything he can to destroy us through discouragement, abuse, loneliness, low self esteem, and basically causing us to feel worthless.

You have an advantage over many because you would like to forgive, but you just feel that you can't. Many people spent years needing to forgive an abuser or an offender but have no intention of doing such a thing. They do not even want to forgive.

When I came to God I realized that I needed forgiveness. I also learned at the same time that I needed to forgive. We cannot have God’s forgiveness unless we are willing to forgive others. Luke 11:4 says; "And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that has sinned against us."

In order to forgive I needed to recognize, identify, understand and deal with the sources of my anger, grief, guilt and shame. I wanted to be right with God. I could see no other way to be right with God than to begin this rather unpleasant task of dealing with my feelings and forgiving all those rogues and scoundrels who had offended and abused me.

The interesting thing here is that as I began to pray and ask God to enable me to forgive them, God showed me some things about those who had offended me. He showed me that these people were victims themselves before they became abusers and offenders. He showed me that sin is a common denominator among all humanity. Although that did not decrease their offenses, it did increase my compassion for them.

Forgiveness is a spiritual thing. Forgiveness is necessary for our spiritual healing. Now if you were physically ill, on your death bed, and I came to you and said; "I have some medicine here, it smells bad before you take it and it tastes bad at the time, but I promise you that if you take it you will recover. You will need repeated doses for the full effect but each time you take it, the taste will get better and you will feel better. After while you will look forward to taking it." Would you take that medicine? Of course you would!

The process of forgiveness can be compared to peeling the layers from an onion. As we begin the seeming unpleasant task of forgiving we begin to uncover unseen deeper layers of the issue. As we remove each layer we may shed some tears. There is healing in those tears. As we remove each layer we remember things that we had repressed but were still depressing us. This is why we often do not know the cause of our depression - it is repressed.

As we continue the bitter process of forgiveness we find that it becomes easier and less unpleasant because the guilt and shame are finally being placed where they belong. As we continue to forgive others and be forgiven by God, we become more like Him. He is our ultimate example of love and forgiveness. He anxiously awaits opportunities to forgive. It gives Him the greatest pleasure to forgive. The angels in Heaven rejoice every time that God forgives a sinner. I tend to think that God rejoices in Heaven when we forgive our abusers and offenders.

Remember that your relationship with God is ultimately far more important than your relationship with your abuser. Forgiving is not an order to restore unconditional trust in you abuser. You can totally forgive your abuser and this forgiveness sets you free, but always remember that your abuser may not ask forgiveness from you or God. They may not receive forgiveness and that person may still not be trustworthy. In fact even if that person does ask forgiveness of you and of God; the issues of his own abuse and addictions and spiritual problems need to be addressed before trustworthiness begins.

God loves you and he will help you forgive things that you thought were impossible. When this happens you will experience the peace spoken of in the Bible which says in Phillipians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Gordon Green

 




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