Forgiveness! Probably not the first word that comes to mind, especially after going through something as traumatic as a divorce. Try saying it again, this time slowly…for....give...ness. Did it feel heavy saying that? Do you feel a stabbing sensation in your chest? If you did, you most likely haven't forgiven those that hurt you, and are carrying that burden with you everyday.
Well, it isn't easy to forgive but not forgiving comes with a tremendous amount of pain, anger, or even worse you stop living your life. You are keeping yourself in the same messy situation day after day. It's normal to feel hurt or angry, but denying these feelings will keep you stuck in the past. If you’ve accepted that you’re hurt, it’s time to forgive. The forgiveness is for you, to help you heal and move forward, not the person you want to forgive.
So how do you forgive? Just like exercising in the gym every day to build muscle, that's how forgiveness works. It is a daily practice of implementation and prayer in order to get to a point where you feel Gods peace working through you. If you are ready to forgive, then you stumbled across the right blog post. Let’s dive in.
What Is Forgiveness
Let's start with what forgiveness is. I explain forgiveness as a miraculous act that serves as a release valve that propels you forward into a new life after divorce! To forgive is to be truly free, to be unencumbered by the past. Forgiveness is not condoning or excusing. Forgiveness does not minimize, justify, deny, or excuse the wrong that was done. It is simply deciding that enough is enough. You have taken a deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward your former partner regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
What Unforgiveness Does To Us
Unforgiveness keeps you trapped in bad relationships, poor life choices, and so on, which causes you to spiral downward. You become unhappy, oftentimes unhealthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Negativity becomes a part of your thoughts, words, and actions. You look at the world from a victim mentality.
You can't keep carrying unforgiveness around with you every day while trying to stand upright and walk in the fullness that God has for you. God genuinely wants you to live in the fullness of everything He has for you! He doesn't want you to miss out on one single thing!
Separate The Person From The Behavior
Yes, this is particularly a tough task to accomplish at first. I mean after all this is the same person who hurt you, and altered your life. But, separating the person from their behavior doesn't mean that you view their behavior as positive. Behavior is not who they are but what they do. People are basically good, but their behavior is wrong and messed up because they have allowed the enemy to mess with them knowingly or unknowingly.
God created us to be good. Eph. 2:10 NIV says, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Those who hurt you were created for good, but they learned bad behavior. So, you need to separate them from their behavior and forgive them because they are good but lost.
Lack Of Forgiveness Hurts You
Here's what lack of forgiveness does to you: it brings anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. You become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present. To top that off it can send you down the road of depression and anxiety.
You might be noticing a word that I am using a lot, “you.” This is because your resentments, blame, and negative emotions are locked onto one target and one target alone, and that is you.
You are the one who suffers, you are the one stuck in the past, and you are the one who hurts. Not your ex. Not the people who've hurt you in the past. You. Now flipping that around you are also the one who will benefit from true forgiveness. If you choose not to forgive, it's like you willfully choosing to drink poison while wishing whomever you choose not to forgive to die! It's giving those people the opportunity to live rent-free in your head!
In the same way, it's hard to forgive others; it is harder to forgive ourselves after we've done something wrong. We tend to be our own harshest critics, beating ourselves up long after others have forgiven us.
We fixate on the same thing for a long time, and even after forgiving ourselves when we recall that incident, the blame still lingers somewhere in the back of our minds reminding us that; hey, you did this. Yes, repentance is important when we're in the wrong, but the Bible also reminds us that it's important to learn from our mistakes and move on. In my book "Destiny After Divorce" I share some helpful insights on the subject of self-forgiveness.
Forgiveness Is Between You And God
"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."
You cannot hold others down and expect to move on. You need to forgive to be forgiven. The Bible says so clearly in Matthew 6: 14 - 15.
So now it's your turn! Ask the Heavenly Father to shine His light on your heart and show you the faces of those you need to forgive for the wounds you're carrying that are keeping you trapped in a cycle of unforgiveness. You can go the extra mile and write down their names. You don't need to write them a letter or have an in-person forgiveness conversation. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, and so if you write a letter, don’t feel like it is something that has to be shared for it to work.
There is no need to go to this person or these people to tell them you've forgiven them. This is an exchange between you and God. You're releasing them to Him, so He can handle the matter, and you can walk in freedom. Sometimes these people don't even realize that they've hurt you in such a deep way! So, there's no need to involve them on your forgiveness journey.
Unfortunately we are only able to scratch the surface around the power of forgiveness within this blog post. If you are feeling called to learn more about forgiveness being the foundation to finding yourself after divorce, then I would love to gift you a Free copy of my eBook "Destiny After Divorce." All you have to do is simply click the link below. You came this far, now let’s take this next step together and make sure the light God has put within you is shining bright.
Yours in healing,