Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Struggling with Forgiveness?

Forgiveness has been a struggle for me personally. The most significant and more recent one was due to the deep hurt and pain caused by another person. I am sure that I am not the only one who has had some difficulty with forgiveness.

It does not matter whether the other person intentionally caused the hurt or pain. It is still there until it is not. It does not go away immediately as much as you may want it to do so.

In Shakespeare’s production, “The Merchant of Venice”, the character of Shylock asked this question, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" in Act 3 and Scene 1.

It is the same principle with us.  If someone cut your finger with a knife, does it not bleed and hurt for a little bit?

In God’s word, He talks about different members being different parts of the body of Christ. He tells us that “…if one member of the body of Christ suffers…we all suffer.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

If someone hurts us, do we not hurt?

Well then, if someone physically shot you in the heart, you would also hurt for awhile. However, the pain would be much more severe and take much more time to heal from the offense.

The perceived wrongdoing also depends on each person…the offender and the defender in this case. Normally, it is only those people closest to us or nearest and dearest to our hearts that can cause deep pain.

Additionally, know that when painful memories come up as they often do, it may take even more time to heal the wound. Say again, someone cut your finger with a knife. If they keep cutting the same place on your finger each time, it will not heal for some time.

The same is true with pain or hurt inflicted by another person. If you are reminded of the offense, then you will not be able to get over it as fast. As long as the painful memories are there, so will be the pain from the infliction.

With that said, healing is a process that takes time. God heals the hurt and the pain in His way and in His timing.

God is the one who forgives us. (Psalm 103:3) He helps us to forgive others just as He does with us.

" far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)

It cannot be done in our own way or in our timing. It is only with Him through His unconditional love, grace, mercy, strength, and power that we are healed from any lasting hurt and pain. We also have to allow Him to work in and through us to help us to forgive and forget the painful offenses against us.

"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (Hebrews 8:12)

When the hurt and pain has gone down deep into your heart, it takes much more time. As I have heard before, ‘time heals all wounds’. That is a true statement. However, a more truthful statement would be that God heals all wounds in His timing. (Job 5:18)

Therefore, give God the time that it takes to help you forgive the person. Also, allow Him the time to heal you from the inside out. With Him, all things are possible! (Matt 19:26) He will help you forgive and forget! He will also help you receive your healing! (1 Peter 2:24) Be patient with yourself and with Him! It is well worth the time!

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Have you ever thought about your choices? God has given us free will to make choices. There are good choices and bad choices, right choices and wrong choices, and life and death choices.

Throughout God's word, our Father instructs us on making choices.

First, our choices begin with our thoughts in our minds. Before making any decisions, please make sure your thoughts line up with His word to you.

"The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)

Do your thoughts bring you comfort and peace? Does your current decision bring you life? A "life" decision will give you peace. If a decision does not give you peace, then it is the wrong choice for you. It is also considered a "death" decision. It is the exact opposite of a "life" decision. You will not experience peace with a "death" decision. There will be discomfort, unrest, or uneasiness about your decision.

Which choice are you thinking about now? What decision are you getting ready to make soon?

Our Father reminds us that He has "...set before you [us] today life and prosperity, death and destruction." (Deut 30:15)

Even though, our Father has given us free will to make our own decisions. He does want to help us with them. We have to cooperate with Him though.

"For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws..." (Deut 30:16a)

We have to make the decision to love and obey Him. He tells us "...then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land...." (Deut 30:16b)

In His word, our Father often talks about life and death. He says "...that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses." (Deut 30:19a)

He encourages us to, "...choose life, so that you and your children may live..." (Deut 30:19b)

As any earthly Dad wants from their children, our Heavenly Father wants us to love Him. However, that is also a choice.

"...and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and He will give you many years in the land...." (Deut 30:20)

Our Father loves us so much! He only wants the best for us. He wants to help us make the right decisions for our lives, but it is still our choice. However, He does give us these same two choices in every decision every day of our lives.

"This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death." (Jeremiah 21:8)

He encourages us to "Choose life and not death!" (2 Kings 18:32)

His word also tells us, "Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness." (Romans 6:13) It is also a choice though.

In addition, our Father wants us to choose to help our brothers and sisters in Christ. Afterall, we each have special gifts from our Father to work together for His purpose. He sometimes gives us wisdom or knowledge to know something in order to lovingly speak the truth to them or forewarn them about something.

“If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.” (1 John 5:16-17)

Be on guard at all times for the enemy. (Ephesians 6:11) Be prepared to speak the truth in love to anyone at any time. (Ephesians 4:15) Pray without ceasing for yourself and others. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

With each decision you make, it is either one of life or one of death. Please think and pray about each decision ahead of time. In addition, choose wisely. If you need wisdom to make a decision, our Father will help you. Just ask Him for the wisdom to make the right decision for you. (James 1:5)

Special note:

The most important decision is one for eternity. Choose today whom you will serve whether it is the devil or God. With the prince of darkness, there is physical and spiritual death. (Hebrews 2:14) With God, there is life and peace here and forevermore. (John 3:16, 3:36, 6:33, 17:3; Romans 6:23, 1 John 5:12) Please make the right decision and choose life for yourself. It really is a matter of life and death!

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To Forgive or Not to Forgive...

In Shakespeare's production of Hamlet, the main character Hamlet was struggling with a question about life. He was thinking, pondering, and questioning his own existence after going through a lot. In Act 3 and Scene 1, he began the monologue with this famous line..."To be, or not to be: that is the question..."

However, I believe that ‘To forgive or not to forgive...that is the most truthful question!’ It does not take a lot of consideration to come up with this answer.

When we go to God's word, we find the most truthful answer. Of course, that is to forgive!

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matt 6:14-15)

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." (Luke 7:48)

Just as Jesus chose to forgive the sinful woman of her sins, we are to choose to forgive someone for any perceived wrongdoing against us. At first, you may not feel like forgiving the person. However, as they said in the old Nike commercial, “Just Do It!”

Often, it is a daily choice too especially if the pain went down deep into your heart. Keep choosing to forgive the person. With the Lord’s help, eventually, you will actually feel it as well.

"Who is this who even forgives sins?" (Luke 7:49)

Jesus! He is the only one who can really help us to forgive people. Please allow Him to work in and through you. With His help in time, you will forgive as the Lord has also forgiven you.

Copyright 2010 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.