Forgiveness ..... That is the next part in Joyce's book. I thought the last section on offenders was hard ... not. This hit me harder than I thought. I had more things to work through than I thought. OH but the joy on the other side.
In the old testament is says "an eye for an eye"; however now God is telling us to forgive our enemies, to love and pray for those who have harmed us. In her book she says "Anything God has given us, such as forgiveness and mercy, He expects us to extend to others. If it comes to us, it should flow through us - and that should be our goal." God forgives us .... we need to forgive others.
We think, but it is so unfair for me to forgive them and then they just have no punishment for what they did. Why should I have the pain while they get the freedom? The truth is that by forgiving, we are releasing them so God can do what only He can do. If I'm in the way - trying to get revenge or take care of the situation myself instead of trusting and obeying God - He may sit back and allow me to try to handle things in my own strength. But if I allow Him to deal with those who offend me by forgiving them. He can work good out of it for both parties concerned. Hebrews 10:30 - When we forgive, we put God on the case.
I sat in the tub (I just love taking baths and sometimes the best place for me to connect to God and myself) and I just cried. I just let it all out .. put everything out on the table. God knows our thoughts anyway, so why not just spill your beans. I am finally forgiving people that have done me wrong in my past. Things that only God and I know about (and of course, the other person). I think the crying was more from being released from the poison that was taking over my life because of the unforgiveness.
As I prayed and released these people to God and forgave each one of them and the different situations, I could start to feel the joy and peace coming over me that I have so longed for. It also made me think about things that were going on in my life and wondering if the poison I have had in my heart effecting those areas? The main one I was thinking about was my weight. Was I eating and stuffing my face because of all of these emotions and unforgiveness that I was carrying around? I think it is .... I ate instead of having peace. As I thought way back to when I started gaining weight ... I am pretty sure I can connect the two. Is this a break through that I was needing? I hope ....
I have always heard people say that we can't have unforgiveness in our hearts. I never thought they were talking to me. Heck, I really didn't think I needed to forgive anyone, until God revealed them to me. What a blessing that was for me to release it all to Him. Thank you Lord!!!
This is one area I am going to be praying on and reading more on .....