Walking in Forgiveness

The more we learn how to perfect walking in the Blessing of the Lord (Genesis 12:2-3; Deuteronomy 28:1-14), the more natural it becomes. Initially it may seem a daunting and even impossible task. But God is so loving and gracious, that He gives us the ability to do everything, be our best and obtain His best. I want to spotlight some areas that sometimes block or hinder the Blessing in our lives. Their traits are similar; however, each is its own destructive entity—I call them Blessing blockers.

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

We all love the words of Jesus in Mark 11:23-24. We can command mountains to move, believe in our hearts and speak our desires into existence (author’s paraphrase). But, check out verses 25-26. Jesus said, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” This is a classic example of how refusing to forgive can hinder us from walking in the Blessing. In essence, not forgiving nullifies the previous verses. How can we expect to receive anything from God knowing we are in direct violation of His command to forgive? Another classic verse is Luke 6:38—give and it shall be given …. Jesus qualifies that in verse 37 saying, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” These must be adhered to in order to get the pressed down-shaken-together-running over blessing. Think about this. How many true givers do you know who judge, condemn and hold grudges?

Carrying old hurts and offenses also gives the enemy an opportunity to rob us of the divine health promised in the Blessing. Many studies have linked forgiveness to better overall health. Two cases in point: a 2001 survey of 1,423 adults by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research found that people who had forgiven someone in their past also reported being in better health than those who had not.* Additionally, the Duke University Medical Center reported in 2003 that among people who have chronic back pain, those who have forgiven others experience lower levels of pain and less associated psychological problems like anger and depression than those who have not forgiven. These findings were presented at the Conference on Forgiveness in Atlanta the same year.*

The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, but was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). I am positive that He had more chances to hold grudges than are recorded. He was maliciously railed upon, mentally and physically abused. He forgave them all—He even healed the soldier who came at Him with a sword and forgave the violence against Him as He suffered on the cross. In recounting my own unsavory life experiences, I find that as I verbalize them, I remain free from their attempts to bind me. I don’t share them in an attempt to gain sympathy or to get someone on my side. They are my testimonies of God’s healing power. He healed my mind and physical body as I chose to forgive. Dear friends, don’t waste another day in the past. Forgive and allow the Blessing of the Lord to flow freely in your life!

Be blessed friends, and have the perfect day everyday!

Psalm 138:8

—Shontta Stevens is a writer and professional fitness instructor. Shon lives in Texas with her husband and two children.

*http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/Releases/2001/Dec01/r121101a.html\l (link to the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research)*http://www.Forgiving.org (link to the source of the findings of the Duke University Medical Center study)
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