Monday, January 21, 2013

"Help me to Forgive"




Ever been hurt by someone that you really love? This isn't some type of "drive-by" hurt as you're driving and someone beeps their horn at you & gives you a middle finger. But this is someone you have cultivated and developed a relationship with & they HURT you. I mean really hurt you. To the point.. where it completely questioned your relationship with them. So.. what do you do when you get wrecked like this? I mean, you love Jesus. You go to church. You try to live for Him. You said that you forgave that person. But the thought of them still makes you roll your eyes. You don't know how to let go of the pain even though you verbally forgave them. They cheated on you. They abused you. They talked about you. They stole from you. They left you. They ruined your trust. They really messed up. They really broke your heart. Do they KNOW how bad they hurt you? Do they KNOW the pain they have caused in your heart? You felt like you were a good friend, wife, husband, or whatever else and you don't feel like you deserve that treatment.

I have experienced that pain. Some of you have gone through some really deep rooted pain that I will never understand. I could never totally understand your shoes because I didn't have to walk in them. Although I had my own share of hurt and pain-- I do know this: as Christians, we can have a different perspective in the midst of our hurt. Remember, you are NOT like this world. Your standard comes from the Lord so your RESPONSE to the hurt must be different. This doesn't mean that you have to run and be best friends with the girl that stole your boyfriend or the woman that crossed you the wrong way because God can reveal certain things in people as a warning to you. What do I mean by warning? As I mentioned before.. everyone cannot be your friend. Some relationships are seasonal and you cannot afford to bring people that are unqualified into the next season of your life. Does this mean you hate them? No! Does this mean that you should try to open a door in that relationship because it's the "right" thing? No! It means that you should be God-led in who you surround yourself with but be QUICK to forgive them. And let me throw this in there.. just because you miss a person.. doesn't mean that they are supposed to be in your LIFE. We must constantly check our emotions to make sure that they are in LINE with where God is taking us.

I'm telling you that you can forgive whoever hurt you. You can seriously from the bottom of your heart let it go. How? Because Christ forgave YOU. That may sound like a cliche but how is it that we are so humbled and broken before God over our own sins against Him and we want immediate freedom from whatever.. but the second somebody wrongs us; we hold onto that hurt. "They need to PAY for what they did, right?" What if Christ made you pay for the way you treat Him? You would never rest as you carried around a burden of guilt. And most of you carry that burden around. You don't think that Christ really forgave YOU so you aren't really forgiving anybody else. When you refuse to forgive other people, it's like you are drinking poison, praying for someone else to die. That poison is getting into your blood stream and it's eating you alive from the inside out. And all the while.. you think that you are charging someone else for the way they hurt you-- but not only did they hurt you, but now they're living rent-free in your head. And most likely, that person isn't even THINKING about you or what happen. They have moved on and are going about their life and bitterness is eating you away. You see them on facebook and they're so happy.. and seeing their life. Seeing them makes you even more bitter.

How is it that you believe in forgiveness for yourself but refuse to give it to anybody else? How is it that you hold yourself to a higher standard as if forgiveness only applies to you and nobody else? How is that we want Christ more but we hate our sister or brother in Christ? How can we move on in our "ministries, callings, purpose" or whatever else if we are carrying all of this BAGGAGE?? Sis & bro.. GOD wants your HEART. So before you run & try to start a ministry you need to run & sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him HEAL your broken heart.( Psalm 147:3)



Jesus said we are to forgive others “seventy times seven” in response to Peter’s question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" (Matthew 18:21-22). To fully understand what Jesus was saying, we must look at the context of the whole chapter, for Jesus was speaking not only about forgiving one another, but about Christian character, both in and out of the church. If you read that chapter, Peter, wishing to appear especially forgiving and "righteous" asked Jesus if forgiveness was to be offered seven times. The Jewish rabbis at the time taught that forgiving someone more than three times was unnecessary so Jesus had to clear it up! (referring to Amos 1:3-13 where God forgave Israel’s enemies three times, then punished them) By offering forgiveness more than double that of the Old Testament example, Peter most likely expected extra praise from the Lord as he appeared to be forgiving & loving. When Jesus responded that forgiveness should be offered four hundred and ninety times, which was WAY beyond that which Peter was proposing, it must have SHOCKED the disciples who were listening. Although they had been with Jesus for some time, they were still thinking in the limited terms of the law, rather than in the unlimited terms of grace. I believe that most of us are still stuck in the terms of the law. Saying, I'm going to forgive you this many times and after that-- that's IT! After that, I will NEVER forgive you. Can you do a heartcheck to see if there's anyone in your life that you've intentionally refused to forgive? Are you waiting for someone to "earn" your grace?

By saying we are to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times-- He was saying there IS no number to how many times we can forgive. We as Christians with forgiving hearts not only do not limit the number of times WE forgive; we must continue to forgive with as much grace the thousandth time as they do the first time. WE are only capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lives within us, and it is He who provides the ABILITY to offer forgiveness over and over, just as God forgives us over and over. So  it's NO longer in YOUR ability to forgive whoever hurt you! It's in CHRIST'S ABILITY. The Holy Spirit will HELP you!  You have to stop trying to forgive everyone in your flesh. It just won't work. You may be reading this and think that it's impossible to forgive someone. You're RIGHT. In your own way of thinking.. it IS. But through Christ, you can truly let it GO.



Let's check out a few scenarios! 

1. Some of you may have been betrayed by a a spouse or a friend. What do you do? How do you forgive and trust your spouse again after the hurt?
Answer: You should learn to have amnesia in your marriage or friendships that are God-ordained. This doesn't mean you throw everything under the rug and never address everything.. it just means that EVERYTHING doesn't need to be addressed every 5 minutes you are offended. Maybe it's not them.. maybe it's you. Do you give God a chance to check you OR are you too busy popping off at the mouth? God can & WILL heal your marriage. You must adjust your mindset. You cannot just quit everytime it gets hard. You will get hurt. You will have rough days. But if you get through those tests then things will get better, you'll grow closer and it will get EASIER.

In the cases of cheating, your goal should be reconciliation. Both sides need to come together, repent, get counseling and get focused on Christ again. If your husband continually cheats on you even after the several attempts of reconciliation, he has abandoned the marriage. He has forced a divorce. I don't recommend staying a marriage a marriage with continued adultery or constant physical abuse. You STILL have to forgive him, but it doesn't mean that you HAVE to stay married to the man as he cheats on you or beats you.

2. I forgave that person.. BUT I still don't have good feelings towards them. What do I do?
 Answer: Forgive by faith. Some of ya'll need to by faith.. forgive someone and then just ask God to help you think good thoughts towards them. Pray for them every time their name pops up or if you see them. Whisper under your breath that.. "God, I pray for so & so- that they may know you and your power. May they walk in your ways and obey you in everything they do." You won't be bitter towards them long because God will really change YOUR heart.

3. My boyfriend did something to really hurt me. What do I do, do I stay?
Answer: Let's be clear- if he cheated on you or something-- I don't recommend sticking around because a ring won't change his mindset. You're obligated in a marriage to AT least attempt to make it work. In a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship you are getting an opportunity to check a person's "get down" out aka fruit of the spirit. Again, we must always be God-led in our relationships but if your man is always lying.. and it's always SOMETHING.. and he's always trying to sleep with you.. and its.. this or that-- a "rang" aint gonna change him sister. You'll be checking behind him for the rest of your LIFE. Now, this is not "formula." All of your relationships should be God-led as I said before.

4. My parents hurt me. How do I get through the pain when I have to see them or a family member?
Answer: I totally understand! Whew! I know how that can be! I have been in a situation where I was hurt by a family member and first I took it to the Lord and asked the Lord to help me to forgive them. I forgave them by faith and I reached out to them to talk the situation out. I didn't feel like we were ever on the same page concerning this situation. I still felt hurt in my heart about the situation but I was determined not to give up on the person. I continued to call them, just to check up on them and prayed earnestly that God would soften and change their heart hearts to Him. Now, it's like nothing ever happened. It's pretty amazing. Not only have I forgiven them, but now we're moving forward and growing in our relationship. I knew that it was a relationship in my family that I couldn't just CUT off. I knew they were supposed to be in my life. There was no question.

There are some situations where you have to pull away from family members & stand up to them. In this situation, I felt like I had to stand up for what had happened. My standards and values come from Christ alone and no other place.

Regardless of your situation, remember this:  

Ephesians 4:32
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."  


Just a few fun reminders!

1. The sold-out Pinky Promise Conference is this week! ;-) Please keep us in your prayers as we are planning the final details and the ladies are coming in town! :)

2. My book is selling like crazy! I'm so thankful for all of you that have supported! Check it out here: My New Book! Pink Lips & Empty Hearts

3. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There's about 10,000 ladies that have joined! Join here: www.PinkyPromiseMovement.com 

4. To purchase cross rings, fabulous shirts, purity rings & all that other good stuff-- go here: Pinky Promise Store

God loves you like crazy!

Heather Lindsey

(One of our maternity photos!) :-)



15 comments:

  1. Heather this blog was written today minutes after I reconciled a friendship with someone I needed to forgive. I felt they were meant to be in my life so I had to take Christ's example and forgive and ask for forgiveness. This blog, I believe, is God's confirmation that I am taking proper steps in being more like Christ. Thank you!

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  2. As always, an on time word. The answer to my question. "What is it that I'm supposed to learn in this situation? " #heartcheck #lifecheck. Praise God and thanks. M. Logan

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  3. Divine intervention

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  4. Heather,

    What if the person is hurting your child to get back at you?

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  5. I've seen in a couple of places that you reference only physical abuse as a possible reason to leave a marriage. Isn't mental/verbal abuse just as bad, or can be just as bad?

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  6. I needed #2 and even posted it to my instagram. I've been asking myself if I have truly forgiven the people who've wronged me. I wouldn't of thought to pray for them either so this was right on time.

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  7. I can reply that this was on time also!Thank God!God bless you!!!And I said a prayer for the Pinky Promise Conference as well.It will be phenomenomal!Continue onward in your beautiful journey with Jesus!..."One thing that I desire is to sit at the feet of Jesus and worship him every day of my life."

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  8. Heather, I am continually blessed by your blog. I have found that God has been dealing with my heart on forgiveness lately. I recently made amends with a ex-best friend, who really hurt me approx four years ago. While I have no desire to become "best friends" again, I no longer harbor bitterness or anger towards her. I feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders!

    PS~I am LOVING your book! I will review it soon on my book blog: http://myromancewithreading.blogspot.com. I have also been convicted that I need to read books that glorify Christ and cut out the trash!

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  9. This was really encouraging..what happens if that person is a mother in law who we were fine for about a year then me and my fiance then boyfriend had a silly fight we were in high school and she saw him crying and long after we reconciled she has held on to that all these years claiming I mistreated her son..hrs explained that it was a disagreement and he's not mistreated in anyway but its been more than 5 years and many attempts to reconcile I have made..apologized to her and still she is so hardened...for a while she turned his brothers against us but God has been softening them and opening their eyes and now they're supportive of us..I have prayed about this thing for years...and God has revealed al lot of things to me but how should I act with her when she comes for our wedding..should i be the one to approah her and what do I say? Should I call her? Basically I know were called to reconcile but when its 100% one sided for how long so I "pursue" her or can I be free from the chase..its sad sometimes..thanks Heather

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  10. Soooooooooo On time Ms.Lindsey.. Sigh. I just feel like my heart has been hardened. Guess il just continue to pray. :'(

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  11. Heather,
    Thank you for the word on a cheating spouse. So often growing up in church we are taught to stay around no matter what... I personally just couldn't after the continued infidelity & embarrassment. After receiving the glances and questions, I even joined a new church. I have been praying for a sign that I did the right thing, prayed this morning and saw this blog.
    Working on truly forgiving and freeing myself.
    Thank you sis, be blessed <3

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  12. Great article. I have a hard time letting go of pain when someone hearts. It repeats in my head like a broke n record. AS I AM working towards emptying the junk out of system I am amazed at hw God's love is filling up those voids and trying how to have agape love towards others.

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  13. This is really a heart check my mother was on drugs for years . She is now saved but I have trouble forgiving her for past hurts and abandonment until reading this I didn't know that I hadn't forgave her. I thought she just made me mad she was the one with the problem now I know i was me who did not forgive. Thank you heather for being obdient and bringing forth this word.

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  14. Thankful to God for you!Be blessed & Continue onward!Love you!

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