“I forgive you.”~Me.
Dear reader: Have you ever forgiven someone? Did it take a lot of courage to do? Were you hesitant in taking this next step? I sure was when I was in the process of forgiving my ex-best friends from college.
~”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.”~Matthew 6:14-15, New International Version~
Forgiveness is the heart of who my Heavenly Father is because He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for me on a cross. Forgiveness is the heart of who Jesus is because it is what He put on display at the cross. Forgiveness is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in and through me because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from a tomb.
He is risen! Therefore, I can say these words: I am forgiven and I am loved by Almighty God.
I still remember that day. Me and my two ex-best friends got into an argument and I said a lot of things that were mean and hurtful to them of which I cannot take back. In return, they did a lot of mean and hurtful things back to me. There were moments in which I cried. I felt anger and I became VERY bitter.
These feelings that I experienced were not of the Holy Spirit of God. I asked God to take them away from me.
~”And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”~Luke 22:41-42, King James Version~
I did not understand why I felt so sad. It is because God led me to a state of brokenness. This led me to repent. This was a process because I had to grieve the friendships that God took away from me. I had to trust this as a part of His greater plan for me.
~”Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”~2 Corinthians 7:10, New International Version~
About two months after the argument, I received a Birthday card in the mail from one of the ex-friends (not both of them). She made the words that were written in the card short and simple:
~”You are forgiven. You are loved.”~
I asked one of my friends, who God put in my life for a season, what she could have meant when she said that I am forgiven and loved? She told me that those were the words that Jesus told her to tell me.
Even Jesus said these words in the LORD’s Prayer:
~”and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”~Matthew 6:12, New Living Translation~
A couple of months later, I returned from my missions trip to Japan. I let the will of God take control of my life as I was in a process of brokenness and surrender out of my pain.
My ex-friend from college sent me an email and apologized for what she did that hurt me. She told me that as God was leading her that we were only meant to be friends for a season and wished me well.
After I read the email, I felt sad and even cried. This was an email that I received just as I was in the process of transitioning from a two month missions trip from Japan and I felt deeply grieved.
I then had a choice that I could make (this took many, many months for me to deal with.—–God got me through it). I could let go of this person, who I had no control over her decisions, or I could remain stuck in the past. I chose to let her go and let God (after many months later) and it felt good to yield to the will of God. I grieved the friendship that God allowed for me to loose as I trusted in His great plans for my life.
I had to choose to live forgiven. I had to choose to live loved. I am forgiven and I am loved, by God’s grace. It was a choice that I had to make.
I eventually heard back from my other ex-friend too, and she told me in a text message that she wanted me to stop contacting her and told me that she would be the one who contacts me.
While I have not heard from this ex-friend since she told me this, I have decided to let her go too and let God even though it comes across to me that she lied to me and has not contacted me since then. I had to grieve this friendship that God allowed for me to loose and trust in His great plans of my life.
I even had to forgive them…..yep, forgive them because it is was Jesus did for me. But, I had to forgive myself first so that I can show others the forgiveness of Christ first. I laid my sins down at the foot of the cross.
Knowing that I am forgiven and loved encourages me to press on. Knowing that I am forgiven and loved allows me to fix my gaze on the King of Kings and not on people (in this case, my ex-friends from college). Knowing that I am forgiven and loved frees me from the approval of others and allows me to enter into the Father’s love.
~”And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”~1 Corinthians 13:13, New International Version~
I am commanded by Jesus to love my ex-friends. Yes, I have to love them because it is what the King of my heart did for me. Jesus loved everybody: EVERYBODY. And all of us are sinners in need of the love of God.
~”We love because he first loved us.”~1 John 4:19, New International Version~
Now, just because I have forgiven and love my ex-friends from college, that does not mean that I agree with how they have treated me (their sins). In fact, I have let them go as I have forgiven and loved them where they are at. I know that Jesus loves them more and even better than I do.
I am forgiven. I am loved by my Savior. And it does not matter what they think of me because He forgave me and loved me despite my past sins. I live by this Truth everyday.
Let us pray:
Thank You for the readers, who chose to read this blog post. I pray that it will free a reader, who is struggling with living forgiven and loved today. Let each reader know that he/she is forgiven and that he/she is loved by Jesus Christ today. I pray that each reader will remember the death and resurrection of Jesus as a daily reminder of who they are in Him. Let these three remain in each reader today: Your Faith, Your Hope, and Your Love. Your gift of salvation is the greatest gift of love that any human being can receive. I praise You for this truth and give You all of the glory, the honor,and the praise.
In Jesus’ Name,
God bless you! ❤