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Extending Forgiveness

By Miki Maynard

              Lord Give Me A Heart To Forgive

It was a great day. Then it happened. Someone did something to me. At first I was taken back, but then I let it go. Normally, I can be a forgiving person, so I went about my tasks. I was confident that I was going to forget it.

A few minutes later it was still affecting me. I was hurt. I wasn’t focusing on what I needed to be doing and I was sad. It was hindering me. I was at work and noticed it was trying to  interfere in the way I was interacting with people and how I did my job.  I prayed and asked the Lord to help me concentrate and work with a good attitude. He answered me and said, “rest in me, don’t let it hinder you, keep doing what you know is right and godly, and we will work on it some more when we are alone.”

Later, I began seeking the Lord and I knew I needed to work on this. It bothered me that I hadn’t shaken it off, and I couldn’t simply ’let it roll off like water on a ducks back.’ I still felt bad about what happened. While trying to forgive, I tried to reason with the Lord and asked if He could have that person apologize to me and then I could then forgive them? That wasn’t a good idea… Then I would be holding a grudge, waiting around for something that may not happen. So there it was, weighing me down, stealing my energy and my joy.

I sought out some Scripture and asked the Lord to help me again. I knew I needed a heart to forgive.

One of the verses that I usually like, when I need to forgive, is where the Lord says that if I don’t forgive, that He won’t forgive me. It’s a good reminder that I have also needed forgiveness from others.

    And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in heaven       will also forgive you.  But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds    forgiveness from you.” Matthew 6:14-15

Since I know that I have needed forgiveness for things that I have done, this a verse that makes sense to me. This was helping but, I needed to keep searching. Another verse is when the Lord is asking the Father to forgive others while He is on the cross.

     Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

This is a crucial moment in understanding where Jesus is coming from and how He is the One who embodies forgiveness. It is who He is. So, I asked the Father to give me a heart of forgiveness. The release didn’t come right away. I complained to God and told Him that this person should know better and asked why they aren’t sensitive enough to say they are sorry.

Then I read this verse:

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

It was then that I realized that it really didn’t matter if they say they are sorry. What matters is that I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in my heart. Yes, I was trying, but how does it happen?

I knew that if I didn’t find the heart of the Lord in this matter that it was going to hinder any future interaction with this person. The Lord showed me this could affect me with other people as well because it was draining my energy and robbing me of His joy in me. I had to get free, but how?

I read over the verse again and felt the Lord highlight and remind me of this point in the verse; I want to be His daughter who loves people and one who allows His love to prosper in it’s work toward others. It was like a light came on.

My heart yielded and surrendered to His Word. When I realized I have a desire to be a vessel of His love and that the Holy Spirit can put that love in my heart; He did just that. At that point, I

found that I was extending His love to this person…in my heart. The Lord heard my prayer. My joy in the Lord returned.

When I come to My Heavenly Father and ask for His help, He is faithful to work in me. He is able to put His love in my heart and extend forgiveness.

Author Becca Card

More posts by Becca Card

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