Happy New Year from the EmpowerMoments Team! To allow our team time to enjoy our families, we will be on winter break until February 4, 2013. In the meantime, you will be able to catch up on some of our favorite EmpowerMoments’ series. This week we are featuring our favorite posts from the I Am Free series. Have a blessed week!
I am FREE from unforgiveness!
This past session of women’s Bible study at church was life changing for me. We had been reading and studying from The Resolution for Women by Patricia Shearer. One of the resolutions that really resonated with me was the resolution on forgiveness. During this time of study and fellowship with other sisters in Christ, I learned that I had become very angry and bitter because I was carrying around unforgiveness for someone who would not accept responsibility for harming my child. I was praying day in and day out asking God to heal my heart, protect my baby and to do what He needed to do in the lives of those that harmed my child so that they might have peace as well. What I didn’t realize until I began to study what the Word says about forgiveness is that what I was really praying for was revenge. I wanted those responsible for harming my child to experience a little pain; I wanted them to own up and acknowledge the wrong that was done. I felt that was owed to my baby and me. Yet it is not God’s desire for me to pray for revenge or handle things my way.
Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14 NIV)
One of the discussions we had during the study was about things that are deemed unforgivable. The list was pretty long: infidelity, false imprisonment, but “harm against my child” was mentioned over, and over again…and each time, I thought my feelings were validated. Once we got to the Word, I knew I was wrong again.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22 NIV)
After the second session, I picked up the phone and called the person that I was so angry and bitter with! Praise God! The Holy Spirit came over me and I have not felt better a day in my life! I forgave them, even though they had not acknowledged any wrong, and even apologized for anything I did or said offensively throughout the ordeal. His Word rings true each and every time if we will just stand on it! “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
What God put on my heart during those sessions were invaluable lessons:
1. It is not necessary for anybody to acknowledge wrongdoing for you to forgive them. See, when God is working on you He is working on those that have done you wrong as well, and as long as you focus on Him, He will take care of the rest.
…Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27 NIV)
2. Carrying around anger, bitterness and unforgiveness is only hurting you, not the other person(s). Forgiveness is part of the healing process for both parties, and you also will be forgiven.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew6:14-15 NIV)
I cannot thank You enough for Your mercy, grace and peace! Thank You for setting me free from the bondage of unforgiveness! Please continue to lead me first to Your Word, before I become consumed with anger, bitterness or the thought of being able to forgive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to forgive others as your Father continues to forgive you! Let go of the pain, hurt, anger, bitterness and sorrows you are carrying around because you are trying to win a battle that is not yours to fight! Lay your burdens down and give them to God!
**EmpowerMoments is looking for fresh talent in 2013. We currently have an array of openings available such as writers, marketers, recruiters, etc. If you are interested in learning how you can utilize your gifts for the empowering of women worldwide, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, best contact number and email, and a brief snippet about yourself. If you promised God that you would do more for Him in 2013, this is the perfect opportunity to fulfill that promise! God truly has need for you!**
Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”