A Tender Heart is a Teachable Heart…
Some Thoughts on Love and Forgiveness –
In life it is inevitable that we will need to extend and receive forgiveness, we are imperfect beings and sometimes we hurt others and sometimes others hurt us. The good news is that we have the grace of forgiveness and forgetfulness so that we can move on and start over, more good news is that we only hurt because we have opened ourselves up to another and allowed them access to our lives, that is always a courageous act.
Love and Forgiveness
Somewhere I read that without forgiveness there is no love and without love there is no forgiveness. So forgiveness is about extending over-and-above what is usual to accept that someone else in their humanity has hurt us, or perhaps we have messed up and hurt others. (We are all imperfect beings stumbling through life.) Forgiving ourselves and forgiving others are both necessary actions for healing to occur. Holding unforgiveness causes disease to come into our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits.
Forgiveness – the Gift we give Ourselves
Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves the reward we receive is the freedom to be. Our minds become uncluttered when we stop replaying hurts over and over in our mind, now we can focus on what really matters, loving ourselves and others, when we are being the gift to the world that God created us to be.
Our bodies have more energy to move forward with the tasks that need our attention. Our spirits are free to soar and enjoy life. Our hearts are no longer burdened and can beat proudly with the rhythm of life. Our enemies lose all the power they were holding over us when we simply pray a blessing over their actions and trust in God to take care of the situation on our behalf.
We are free indeed and all we did was let go and let God. Forgiveness the gift that keeps on giving…
Quotes, Scriptures and Thoughts to Help
Hopefully these love and forgiveness quotes and scriptures below will help in those situations, we cannot ask people to forgive us our transgressions if we are not willing to extend it to those who have hurt and offended us. Sometimes our “monkey brains” keep us going round and round living over and over offenses committed by others against us, but that is distraction from moving forward, to let go and move on we have to move out of our minds and into our love filled hearts.
Letting Go of Indignance – Moving Into Love
The reason we are hurting is because someone we cared about disappointed us in some way. We cared for them, let us focus on that, they deserve our forgiveness, we cannot hold them hostage to their imperfections forever, after all aren’t we imperfect too? The love and affection we felt for them at one time is still there in our hearts but it is being smothered by our indignance at being wronged. Let us choose to let go of indignance and move into real love, the kind that “keeps no record of wrongs”. Below is the Apostle Paul’s description of some aspects of love found in 1st Corinthians Chapter 13, it is something we must all aim for in order to live love witnessing lives.
Scriptures that Bless
‘If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
Letting Go of the Need to be Right
Love encourages healing and living in the “now” (being fully present), neither are possible without letting go of the need to be right and then praying a blessing on those who have offended us by extending our forgiveness towards them. If it comes to a choice of holding on to suffering or letting go, I choose to let go. How about you? Let me know your thoughts. Love is always a choice and to choose to forgive is the only choice it sets everyone free.
Prayer That Helps
Here is a forgiveness prayer that we can use to extend and receive forgiveness;
Lord, I forgive___________(Sometimes I just say
everyone, if no particular person comes to mind that day.) who has hurt me in any way.
Lord, I give you permission to take the judgment and bitterness out of my life – I surrender it all to You and ask You to remove anything in me that is not loving towards those people.
All people are children of God and I am a child of God – let nothing block Your light working in me and through me so that Your will for my life and the lives of all those that I am praying for will be accomplished.
I trust in You to bring great goodness from my decision to forgive and to allow Your will to be done in all the situations of my life and the lives of all those who I have wounded, please forgive me Lord for wounding others as I now choose to forgive all those who have wounded me.
I can accomplish nothing without your amazing and holy grace working in and through me, thank You for this holy gift. I make this prayer in and through the name of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, Amen.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51: 10-12
He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.
Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?
Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!
Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].
For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive [our trespasses, sending them away, letting them go completely and forever]; and You are abundant in mercy and loving-kindness to all those who call upon You.
Psalm 86: 5
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (his sister, his father, his mother, his wife, her husband, her best friend, her co-workers, his girlfriend, his neighbour etc.,) 1 John 4:7-21
From the Author
Dear Reader, Sometimes it is hard to forgive those who have betrayed our trust, but holding onto anger and replaying what they did to us in our minds only hurts us. They go on with their own lives oblivious to the damage they have caused us.
Only with the grace of God is it possible to forgive our enemies, ask for it and He will provide. Sometimes you will have to ask over and over because some hurts are very deep but it can be done. I know, I have practiced this many times. I pray God’s blessings over you. Marion
Marion Sinclair-Simpson (C)