Presbyterian, Methodist, Church of Christ

Greymouth Uniting Church

Letting it Go

A couple of weeks ago Lynn touched a little on forgiveness and then I came across an interesting article which I thought may help understand the huge impact of this in our own lives. "Forgive and forget" is often prescribed, but putting this into practice is of course not easy to do, as we all know.

Understanding comes when one realises that forgiveness isn't something you do for the other person, but something you do for yourself. It doesn't mean you're excusing or pardoning the other person's behaviour - you don't even have to tell them they're forgiven. Nor do you have to forget what happened or how you feel about the situation. And it doesn't mean it's all ok in the relationship - maybe you don't even need that person in your life any more. But - by forgiving them you accept the reality of what happened and find a way to live with it and move forward.

It is a powerful feeling when you choose to forgive. It allows you to take command of the situation. You know forgiveness has begun when you think of those who have hurt you and are able to wish them well. It is certainly not an easy shift and it doesn't really happen "overnight"! It takes time - you don't necessarily "get over" it but you begin to cope with it. Initially when someone hurts you you're filled with revengeful thoughts like, getting even - holding a grudge i.e. "I'll never forgive them" etc! We've all been guilty of this I'm sure - I know I have - particularly your immediate reaction or response - in anger or frustration when someone "crosses" you! However things get in the way and you will start to feel bitterness or get a "chip upon your shoulder" if you don't deal with the problem. You can ask yourself "Do I want to forgive, or go on feeling bitter and unhappy about the situation thus harbouring a grudge about or towards something or someone all your days?" No? These feelings can be very powerful and have been known to destroy a person or relationship. Yet all of us continue to pray for forgiveness for our sins every day and expect the Lord to forgive us and (thank God in the knowledge that He does) BUT then when we do not forgive we really are practising hypocrisy aren't we? Surely we cannot be a bunch of hypocrites?

We must learn the process of "Letting Go" of any chips, grudges or bitterness we are harbouring and forgive ourselves and others for these feelings. When we conquer these feelings, with God's help our lives will become happier and content showing others that following our Lord's commandments to the best of our ability we can follow His plans for us here on Earth.

Like most of us I have my struggles at times, but I know God is always there and I can always find confidence, contentment and help through prayer and thanksgiving for the things I do have.... not always what I want to of course! At times say through grief, loss, disappointments etc. we tent to want someone to blame for these emotions when mostly it is just another of life's experiences we go through - a "testing" if you like. But I do believe that none of us are ever required to bear any emotion we are completely unable to cope with if we put our trust in our Lord. Prayer is a very powerful medium we can all explore.

I trust this may give you all a little food for your thoughts.