I entitled this blog “Pierced” because that’s how I felt after God gave me the topic…Forgiveness.
This is such an ouchy topic for me. After all, I live up to my “Scorpio” tagged personality and birthday symbol proudly. Burn me once and I will sting you to death. Now this is very drastic, but I once (Praise God) had a very strong issue with forgiveness. As a teenager and young adult, my tough exterior covered a soft, emotional, heart on her sleeve kind of girl. I am writing to share with you not just my stories of unforgiveness, but “OUR” stories of unforgiveness: the man we will never forgive because he cheated on us; the best friend that slept with our boyfriend; the friend that told your most esteemed secret; the person you don’t like “just because;” the friend’s boyfriend we will always hate because he did our best friend wrong; and let’s not get on husbands!!!
We all have our own events ingrained in our memory of people we can’t forgive. I have often masked my forgiveness with excuses like, “I can forgive, but I will NEVER forget,” (as the fangs hang and the horns arise). My all-time favorite, “I’m cordial, I just don’t fool with her like that anymore.” One day God was dealing with me about a friend that I felt scorched me one time too many. During chastisement in worship He brought to my memory Matthew 18: 21-22, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
As if that wasn’t enough, he also reminded me “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14) I literally felt as if I had been hit with a ton of bricks.
The Bible teaches about Joseph’s 11 brothers plotting to kill him because he was favored. They found him, stripped him of his clothing, and threw him in a waterless pit. (Genesis 38). But get this, about 12 chapters later, Joseph shows us forgiveness. He says to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50: 19-21) Joseph knew that only God can judge and to be seen righteous in the eyes of God he had to forgive. He “let it go.”
Forgiveness is all about letting go. FORGIVENESS IS NOT FOR THEM, IT’S FOR YOU. Forgiveness releases a burden off of you. When we don’t forgive those that have hurt us, we give them the power to change our attitude when they come around. They can make us “act” a certain way. Hmm, that’s a lot of power you just “gave” to someone.
I had to learn, when you truly forgive someone, you are able to be around him or her without anger flaring on the inside. Yes, you may remember the incident, but the anger shouldn’t resurface. I had to ask God for forgiveness and to teach me how to deal with those that treated me wrongly. I began to see that love really does conquer all (I Peter 4:8). Many times those that did you wrong did so because they did not understand the true definition of love.
I want to release the baggage of unforgiveness I have been holding all of these years. I want to be free in You. As I start, God please forgive me of my sins and teach me how to forgive others. The pain and anger is so deep that I don’t know where to begin. Guide my heart Lord so that my heart can forgive. Make my ears and eyes sensitive to Your direction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
My sister, I EMPOWER you today to think about that “thing or person” that has you bound because you can’t forgive. Declare today to be the day that you will stop carrying this baggage. You will love them with the love of Christ until He creates in you a clean heart and a renewed spirit. (Psalms 51:10)
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Huntsville, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three year old daughter where they attend St. Luke Christian Church.