One night while I was sleeping I saw these beautiful green pastures. However, these green pastures had fences – here, there, and everywhere. Then, I heard the words….. “I want you to remove all of the fences.” Magically, the words “all of the fences” turned into the word OFFENSES.
One might think that I would have immediately recognized God’s voice speaking to me, but I alas – I did not. What a self discovery that I have been carrying around all kinds of past hurts filled with personal injuries and injustices for years! Even if I was rightfully justified, these offenses hindered me from enjoying the God moments in my life. In fact, because of these offenses, I frequently found myself dancing around these fences or desperately trying to jump over them.
Needless to say, I knew that word was for me. So how do you rid yourself of offenses? Especially if a hurt was legitimately committed against you? I began to do some seriously praying about my problem to God, and here’s what I learned.
- When I DON’T walk in forgiveness, it hurts me – not the person who hurt me. Often those people who hurt me have no clue or they may not even care. Nevertheless, the truth is that unless I forgive them, I am blocking my own blessings; and thus, hurting myself. Walking in forgiveness has nothing to do being the bigger more forgiving person, but it has everything to do with setting yourself free. I know this sounds unfair, but it’s not fair that Jesus was crucified on the cross for my sins and yours.
- True forgiveness does not mean that I need to trust again or reconcile that relationship, but it does mean that I need to love that person. This principle is what it means to be a true Christian – to love when you have been wronged. It’s wonderful when an offender truly repents with a change of heart, but let’s get real. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. Nonetheless, I am always called to walk in love.
- Even I don’t feel forgiveness, I can always make the decision to forgive with an act of my will. When I ask Jesus, He always comes to help me until this forgiveness is complete. Honestly, He is always able to do what we can not.
- And finally, don’t forget to ask Jesus to come and heal those hurts. He loves you and wants to heal you.
God’s desire was for me to start removing those fences ASAP. Not because I was wronged, but because He wanted to set me free. I thought these fences were for my protection, but really they were hindrances to my healing. Each day I asked God to show me another fence and each day He helped me walk this forgiveness path. It was a decision on my part, but I asked Him to hold my feet to the fire such that not one fence would be left standing. And He continues to help me as I’m a work-in-progress. And I thank Him for it!
He will help you too – if you ask Him.