Most unforgiveness that people have stems from anger that's in their heart. Anger is no different than worry from this perspective: Jesus summarized the last ten verses of Matthew 6 to not be anxious (or worry) about what's to come tomorrow. Most people who are anxious, worried, or fearful will be the ones who say, "I got to have something to worry about." The same holds true for an angry person (or for someone who has a mental block caused by the devil), they will say, "I got to have something to be angry about," or "I got to have somebody to be angry with." For many this is normal, even though it truthfully is dysfunction. If the devil can cause us to isolate ourselves, the devil can come in and bring its cousins (pride, arrogance, bitterness, unforgiveness and confusion) - and for some, he will bring decoys (via the opposite sex who's straight from the pit of hell) with the sole purpose of destroying you and your faith (remember he comes to steal, kill and destroy you spiritually, financially, physically, mentally and emotionally).
Ever since last Monday, I have been talking about offenses on social media (as my morning and evening posts). One thing we need to understand is that offenses will come and because we're in the last days (Matthew 24 & 2 Timothy 3), it will get worse (in fact, it's probably the new normal). If we subscribe to this new normal, we will never be free. We will end up with what I call the BUG (bitterness, unforgiveness & grudges). So this will definitely keep you from being whole as I discussed in my prior blogpost. You know what's sad, many of us know that these are hindrances to our divine healing (which is rightfully ours), but we voluntarily choose to live with the BUG. If we're not careful, offenses can cause is to miss our true destiny. Watch this: the very one who offended you, could be the very one to bless your life and launch you to your next level. This is why it's very important to forgive. Not solely or that, but really to free you, your heart from stress, and you are free to listen to God as you surrender your hurts, pains, bitterness, unforgiveness and grudges. He already knows what's troubling you, and He is waiting and ready to heal you. When you are free from anger and unforgiveness, there's a peace that comes to your spirit. There are some that say they forgive, but their hearts are so callous to where their attitude is like "nobody better cross me like that again, I will get cray cray and let you have a piece of my mind." The minute that happens, the devil gained a foothold because the inch you have him.
Joyce Meyer said something so profound as it relates to this topic. I will paraphrase a small quote from her book The Battlefield of The Mind. This is the case where the daughter (Mary) ended up with a stronghold from the devil that actually came from her father. The end result is that it would then cement her thoughts. I said that to say that it's not always our fault as to how the stronghold came. Is it fair that you are suffering for what somebody placed on you that could destroy who you are? No, although you now have the choice to cast it to the One who wants it so you can forgive to live. I dedicate this segment to anyone who has been physically abused or sexually abused knowing that this month is sexual assault awareness month:
There was a father who had a domineering spirit and he always vented his anger on the mother and Mary. The father treated his sons as golden children but the women in the house were targets of his wrath. By the time Mary was 16, she was brainwashed by the lies the devil told her such as "Men really think they are something. They are ALL alike; you can't trust them. They will hurt you and take advantage of you." As a result, when Mary left home, she resolved by saying "nobody is going to push me again." The devil was waging war on the battlefield of her mind. Joyce nailed it when she said if you play those thoughts constantly for years, don't think that she's going to be the sweet submissive wife." How many of you can testify to this?
I brought that up because we must cover our children, and each other via prayer and intercession, as well as to live peaceably with everyone (with a clean heart). I encourage you to be vocal about what you went through but go through the steps to heal (this includes forgiving yourself - which I discuss near the end).
So, what is an offense? I heard someone say that it's a feeling of being upset, irritated, hurt by something or someone did or said.
Let's briefly talk about those who offend you. If you are one who intentionally tries to hurt someone, you truthfully are leaguing with the devil. If you are wondering when they will receive justice, don't worry about that. Forgive them and know that if they don't receive it in this life, they will when it's judgment day. I can promise you that because God said He will.
If you are offended, you actually have the right to be offended. The key is to seek God as to what you should do about it, but at the same time, confess the hurt you feel. The devil wants you to stew on it until it gets hot and boiled, to burn somebody to the point they're scorched but you're still hurt due to the anger still lingering. If you have to confront, do it in a spirit of love. Dealing with offense and anger is critical to being made whole.
Using me as an example, in order to heal, I have to love and walk in forgiveness. This requires humility and dying to self. And yes, the MayneMan still has some dying to do and that's a process in itself, but I'm willing and determined to go through it (in fact, I'm in it now, and sharing parts of the process with you like this one - as this is part of my process). I have to understand that people may intentionally try to hurt me and some may not even know they are hurting me (whether it's perceived by a filter of hurts from my past or not). The key is to forgive them regardless. Will it require a faith increase (like the disciples requested after they learned they have to forgive 70x7 times)? You bet! Walking in forgiveness is about your freedom and healing -granted, we have work to do and people need our gift. It's rather difficult to walk in your gift when you are bitter, angry and mean (I call it the BAM state).
You know Christ forgave everyone who nailed Him to the cross, He forgave those who were offended by Him, those who rejected Him; now watch this, we won't forgive someone who owes us $5! If you have time, read Matthew 18:21-35. Also know there is a difference between forgiveness and trust. I always wondered why we have a tendency to be angrier at unintentional things than we do intentional. But I'm also reminded that offenses will increase, betrayals will increase and hatred will increase. Either way, I am to have a heart that forgives.
The last thing I want to discuss is the concept of forgiving ourselves. Sometimes we can be our worst enemy. The enemy will do whatever he can to make us feel so guilty for the wrong we did, for allowing ourselves to be put in compromising situations or to blame you for the wrong that you didn't do. Can you do yourself a favor when you hear a voice saying, "You can't forgive yourself, look at your life, look at what you caused!" Tell that voice, "so what that I messed up! I accepted the part that belongs to me and rebuke the part that doesn't belong to me. I forgive me and I'm forgiven by God. I claim the promise of 1 John 1:9."
As for me, I forgive me, I'm forgiven by God and I forgive everyone who intentionally or unintentionally hurt me. I hold no bitterness towards anyone. I desire to be made whole by Jesus and by faith I am whole even as He takes me through the process of healing that I'm currently on. My poor choices in life do not define me nor do they deter what God has for me.
I pray that this blesses you as you walk in the power of forgiveness. Remember, it's all about getting us to a place where we can shout YES when He asks us the question "Will You Be Made Whole?"
The Mayne Man