Freedom in Forgiveness
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Freedom in Forgiveness

"If I can't forgive my enemies, how can God forgive me?"

Freedom in Forgiveness
Danielle Lucido

Have you ever been betrayed by your closest ally? Have you ever been overlooked by your job for a promotion you believe you so willingly deserve? Have you ever felt taken advantage of, constantly? By a classmate? A neighbor? A friend? Maybe even someone you strongly considered family? You're probably reading this and thinking, "Wow, I went through that once."

If any of the above have ever happened to you, then just know I am right with you. I relate to your pain wholeheartedly.

We've all undoubtably been through one of these scenarios, whether you played the victim or the offender. It is just our human instinct. The saddest part? Sometimes we don't even know we're doing it.

It's not easy to just scroll through Pinterest, find a quote that says, "forgive and forget," and move on. What I learned is regardless of the time frame, it is not impossible.

The first book in the Holy Bible, Genesis, talks about "the beginning" when God created the world in six days, with the seventh day being the "sabbath day," or a day of rest. Now, I'm not going to go into detail with the whole "Adam and Eve" story in the Old Testament of the Bible, just because I guarantee you have heard of it at some point in your lifetime, but just for reference...

God created man (Adam) and then created a woman (Eve) to accompany her in "The Garden of Eden." They were allowed to take fruit from all but one tree. The snake, a.k.a. Satan in disguise, convinced Eve to go against God's command and pulled an apple from the forbidden tree. Adam and Even were vanished from the garden and the gates of Heaven were closed.

Think about this; was God upset because Adam and Eve disobeyed his commands and betrayed his trust? Duh, I would have been as well.

Now ask yourself...did God ever stop loving them? Absolutely...NOT.

Here's another brief summary of one of my favorite stories...the "Last Supper." The night before Jesus was crucified, he sat around the dinner table with his twelve disciples, his closest allies, drank wine and ate heck of a night, am I right? Out of all the disciples, Judas betrayed Jesus by relieving his location that night to Pontius Pilate, a high ruler, for a bribe of thirty pieces of silver. The following day, Jesus died on the cross, buried and rose from the dead on Easter.

Think about this; was Jesus upset when Judas betrayed him? Most likely.

Ask yourself...did Jesus ever stop loving Judas? NEVER.

Want to know why I am so dang confident? God's love is unconditional. This is a term, we Christians, use so vaguely but the actual concept is SO overwhelming. Sure, it is not stated in the Bible that God forgave the ones who betrayed him, but he created them in HIS image and loved them, regardless of their actions.

We all's just our human instinct. We are flawed in this imperfect world because we want so much more than what we have, therefore, we often lose sight of who we are and what we are becoming. Knowing God made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up his one and only son for MY sins has brought a lot of peace to my life. That debt is greater than all my sins I've committed, including holding grudges. So if God can forgive me so easily, despite all my mistakes, then I should be able to forgive those around me. It has to happen organically, of course...but it's just the matter of learning to be more gentle with people and their feelings.

To conclude this article, please enjoy a few tidbits on forgiveness,...

1. DO NOT go to sleep angry:

First off, it is very unhealthy. Second, how can you sleep like that...knowing that may or may not have been the last time you ever talked to that person unless you made up??? Try to resolve the conflict firsthand.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate:

I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!! Communication is EVERYTHING!!! Talk about your feelings, why they are valid, and how the situation offended you, made you feel betrayed, heartbroken, etc.

3. DO NOT ignore the person or problem:

If someone is willing to sit down, call you, FaceTime you, whatever form of communication convenient to make up...GREAT, just whatever you do, do NOT deny their presence. You may be hurt, but the other person has feelings too. Every side has a story, so don't be stubborn. I have a professor who taught me, "You have a right to your own opinion, but not your own facts" and boy does that speak life. Acknowledge that the things that went down between you and whoever did hurt you. Maybe even jot down some adjectives or phrases describing emotions. Writing is a great stress reliever ;)

4. Forgiveness is a gift for yourself:

Forgiving others is hard, I'll admit. When you forgive, negativity goes away, you will experience less fear, anger, depression, not to mention less pain and more relaxation.

5. Forgiveness is a gift from God:

Forgiveness is a primary feature of Jesus' character. As Christians, we are called to love others and that includes being forgiving of one another. Christianity strives to push the concept of forgiveness, because in a world where more people hold grudges and ignore one another to seek each others' attention, we most define ourselves as the forgiving servants God called us to be. In doing so, God's light shines through us and allows others to see him, even if he is not physically here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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