If I knew years ago what I know now – I could have saved myself sooooooooooooooooooo many problems! However, as we all know – God makes no mistakes! Everything I learned shaped me and is now a testimony to help someone else! Hopefully, ya’ll catch it and apply it because what I am about to say is the realest thing I ever wrote!
“YOU CANNOT HAVE A TRUE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD UNTIL YOU FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT YOU IN THE PAST!” I can say this with the upmost confidence not only from personal experience but from THE WORD OF GOD! Now, let’s just jump into why I am saying what I am saying! First – let’ start with THE WORD OF GOD because of course… some folks love to argue a point but you can’t argue with THAT WORD THOUGH!
- THE WORD OF GOD clearly says – “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1 John 4:20! Now no matter what anyone says – unforgiveness is a breeding ground for hatred! When you don’t forgive – you isolate yourself from that person and allow unforgiveness to fester and sooner rather than later – hatred has entered your heart! And then well… see beginning of point 1, please.
Now some of you may say – but Ki, you said “Forgive!” not “Love!” but awwww honey, they go hand and hand! Love is the only thing that keeps the Father forgiving us when we continue to do things against His word and we continue to hurt His feelings! Now if you know His word then you know as Jesus loves us – we are to love one another! (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35) So if He forgives us no matter how many times we mess up – then what do you think we should be doing? FORGIVING!! Without stipulations! Without conditions! True love for pleasing Him will result in you doing exactly what His word says – even when it hurts!! “If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15” So what it boils down to is you cannot have one without the other – you cannot love God without forgiving your “them!”
Okay, now that we have set the tone with THAT WORD, let me tell you about my own personal experiences! So, I’ve told you all about the hurt I experienced growing up and as an adult – from being bullied, abusive relationships with friends, family and boyfriends, etc. and once I realized how all that hurt contributed to my unhappiness – I had to figure out how to let it all go so I could be finally healed and set free from it! I desired a relationship with God more than anything and one of things I didn’t realize is how the hatred and unforgiveness I had in my heart was hindering that process!
I remember one day at church during Sunday school – my pastor was talking to me about being filled up with God. He said, “you’ve let some things go but you still have to pour more of you out so God can come in and fill you up!” I was so confused! I’m at every service! I’m claiming victory and going to Heaven any how but I still hadn’t poured me out? What else could I do??? That’s all I kept thinking about! Then my MaMa chimed in – “you have to completely surrender to God! Ask Him how to teach you how to say “Yes!”” WHAT????????? IDK What they wanted me to do! I’ve told God “Yes!” over and over and again! He knows it! I know it! I was so confused on what my next step was! Am I really saved? Will I ever get it right? Then my Pastor preached a message and even though I heard this scripture probably a gazillion times in my life – that Sunday morning – God allowed it to click! He preached on “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” HIS righteousness! Not Kiesha’s! HIS! And that meant it was cleaning time! Not the kind of cleaning where you put everything anywhere as long as it’s out of sight but the type of cleaning that’s deep – the cleaning that searches out cobwebs in the places you can’t see at first glance and dust in corners of the floor that have been there so long that they have now blended in with the tile! A good cleaning!!
Now this was no easy or quick process because flesh obvi always will try to step in! I remember one time when God woke me up about 3 in the morning with a person on my mind that I hadn’t talked to in over 10 years! It was the strangest thing to me but one thing I can say from the experience is that when you ask God to show you yourself – He will – it’s just all about if you’re willing to accept what you see! Anywho, the last time I spoke to this person, I threatened them because I felt they were being disrespectful (I wasn’t saved at that time y’all, don’t judge me!) and to be honest, they were completely and utterly being disrespectful but when God put this person on my heart – He allowed me to see ME – not them! See a lot of times we don’t forgive people because we are focusing on what they have done to us instead of focusing on our reaction to them which is what causes us to be in sin! God won’t ask us what they did to us but He’s gonna ask – what we did to them! There won’t be any “But God’s” on judgement day! He’ll have them books wide open! So, at that moment I realized that I was wrong! There was no excuse! There was nothing I could say! All I did was contact that person and asked for forgiveness! Not rehashing the past! Not making excuses! I responded to my actions because they were wrong and I made it my business to get it right! Don’t get it twisted – flesh tried to creep in – “you gonna apologize? You were just defending the ones you love! You doing too much! That ain’t necessary!” but I thank God for giving me the strength to ignore that flesh and push through anyway because the devil’s job is to trick us up and make us feel good about the wrong! Nobody likes to admit when they are wrong especially if they feel justified! he doesn’t want you to realize the key to your freedom is hidden in forgiveness of the hurt you feel they’ve caused you! When you forgive – you set yourself free! So yes, I apologized and guess what…. I DIDN’T EXPECT AN APOLOGY IN RETURN AND I DIDN’T ALLOW A LACK OF AN APOLOGY TO STOP ME FROM FORGIVING THEM ANYWAY! Not everyone is blessed to see themselves in their wrong so if we forgive others based on the apology we’re expecting, some of us are gonna miss the trip to Heaven! I don’t recall one time reading Jesus saying “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!” and then Him saying, “nah I take that back” because they didn’t run to His feet and ask for His forgiveness! You forgive because it’s in your heart to do so and because you want to be free! Period. Because one of the truest statements I ever read was this… “sometimes we have to accept the apology we will never hear!”
With Beautiful Brokenness,