“The command to forgive others as Christ forgave us is not a lesson in trying to muster up the strength to forgive like Jesus, but an assurance that – because Jesus forgave us – we can forgive like Him. And perhaps we will even want to.”
The Fitting Room- Chapters 6 & 7 from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.
Forgiveness can be a hard one, can’t it?
Kelly talks about in chapter 6 a trying time in her own life, and she says something really powerful: “the real revelation of this trying season wasn’t the sin of the other person, but the sin in my own heart.”
Often we think forgiveness is about the person who hurt us, don’t we? I know I do… These chapters caused me to ponder my heart and reactions when I am hurt.
In studying the Beatitudes at my church in May, one week we discussed peace. The pastor said “it is much more comfortable to keep peace than make peace.”
Isn’t that true for forgiveness too? It is much easier to be complacent, place blame or wait for someone else to apologize than to initiate, isn’t it?
Kelly writes in chapter 7, “If we don’t begin with our own need for forgiveness, we will never have the capacity to forgive others.” In the video she adds:
We place the control back in the hands of God when we forgive, not in the hands of the offender and God gets to do what He is going to do.
The story of Joseph is a great example of forgiveness done well. If it has been awhile since you have read it, I encourage you to do so.
Seed: I CAN forgive like Jesus. What have I done to others that I need to pray about?
Water: What have I learned through giving and receiving forgiveness?
Grow: A desire to forgive more freely and completely.
What are your thoughts regarding forgiveness?
Ang, Jess and the Bloom (in)courage team
PS – I’m having my baby girl, Adeline, today! Click here for updates and thank you for any prayers you send up.Leave a Comment
Well, recently, I’ve contacted my ex-husband that I haven’t spoken to in fourteen years, ever since I left him. I was nervous about what he would say to me but in the end, we both realized that our marriage wasn’t the best and that it was lacking in a lot of ways that would’ve made us seperate anyway. But the fact that we both found closure and are able to move on with forgiveness in our hearts makes me hopeful for the future with us and our own spouses. Now we’re on comfortable speaking terms and there’s no more annimosity. Yay for small miracles!
Seed: Two takeaways here for me. From Chapter 6, page 82: “Each time I acted in forgiveness, I found out something about God I had not internalized before.” Forgiving others draws us nearer to God’s heart and revels Him to us in a new, clearer, more real way. Also, from Chapter 7, page 101: “God is gathering all the years of wrongdoing to your soul, harvesting it for an unimaginable feast He is preparing and spreading it on a table He is setting.” My view of circumstances needs to be less earthly minded.
Water: Asking God to “help me grow more thankful for His incredible love (see page 85) and to help me see my offenses first, rather than picking up the “sword of vengeance” (page 90).
Grow: The more “bankrupt” (page 84) I see myself, the more whole and His I feel as I acknowledge I can’t do this life without Him. Lord, help me to daily commit myself to You, my Faithful Creator, and continue to do good (I Peter 4:19)
The “control” that comes with “unforgiveness” rang a million bells for me. I, like Angie, am controlling – I’ll admit! I like to have everything in my life fair and in order – be it people or schedules or plans. I realize now, just because you said that, that this is a big issue for me. If I can continue to not forgive another, then I will always have a one-up on them and therefore be in control of the relationship. That is so not Jesus’ way. I am going to soak this in this week!
Richella at Imparting Grace says
I was almost shocked to see that your post today is about forgiveness, because it’s been so much on my mind today. You see, today is my 26th wedding anniversary, and I wrote today about forgiveness. I really, really believe it’s the key to a good marriage!
Hey! I just found this blog. I love the video chats on the book. I’m finding you guys on facebook now so I can join in book studies.
Seed: I want peace. This means I must learn to forgive. I must first accept God’s forgiveness, which means not beating myself up over mistakes made.
Water: Forgive!! Be patient with others and let go and let God. This includes my husband, my son when I am trying to have quiet time and he doesn’t know what quiet time is, the coworker who I might not see eye to eye with, and the guy who cuts me off in traffic. Forgiving them means I get to where I want to see good for them.
Bloom: God makes all things work together for good. Claiming Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28
I’m caught up and I’m so joyful to be doing this study! Previously, in another or our video companion blog posts, I expressed how honored I am to be a recipient of one of the scholarship books for this study. Oh how blessed I am because of (in)courage’s program and because of the woman who gave so generously so that people like me could participate.
Jessica, I am overjoyed for you and the birth of your daughter! I cannot wait to hear updates and hear how you are feeling and how she is doing. Thank you for allowing you “online body of believers” to celebrate with you in these small but glorious ways.
I’ll end with this, my mom has a deep, intertwined, hovering hurt in her life at the hands of someone who is supposed to love her unconditionally. She has been carrying the burden of loss, hurt, anger, confusion, and pain. She functions well and “normally” for the most part, but every once in a while, all the hurt comes back and demands attention. I was able to have a beautiful, unplanned conversation with her about it the other night over the phone. I was able to share so much of what Kelly has been speaking about in her book – and praise the Host of Hosts, she received well! She listened and we spoke back and forth and I could tell the Spirit was blessing her. The next morning I wrote a few quotes for Kelly’s book, and my mom said it gave her things to think about. The forgiveness, forgetting and walking away won’t come overnight at all, but I’m praising God that she is closer to releasing all of it at the feet of the throne – in the hands of her Healer. Practical ways to give balm to our wounds – the truth of forgiveness. Thank you so much for the tools!
bev smith says
You wrote – “Still when faced with deepest betrayals of life, such as affairs, the losses from divorce, childhood abuse, or a drunk driver who killed a loved one…”
I have been in all these places and more. What if the person you have to forgive is man but God? He asked me to forgive him, but every time i feel i am done with one thing there is something else. I know there is another who would like me to quit, but quitting would mean he won and i lost.
Erin @ Wild Whispers says
Forgiveness is still a struggle… likely, in this earthly body, it always will be, but oh… the joy of peace when it comes. When I can drop the guard I carry around so tightly and let God’s forgiveness for me shine through to others, the pain is less deep. Thank you for these chapters. They are changing my mindset.
Kiersten Johnson says
This is definitely something I am in the midst of learning to do. For a year now I have been so hurt, beaten down (emotionally not physically), and ridiculed by my own father. Nothing I was doing was good enough and everything about me was not good enough. He does not recognize the pain and the anguish he has caused me with his own words. Instead of holding on to the bitterness and anger I am trying SO hard to forgive him. My one question is “How do I know when I have truly forgiven him”? I truly want to forgive him because I know he is a flawed human being just like me!
I know I’m a few days behind here, but I wanted to add anyway: I’ve been through a few seasons of (un) forgiveness, but nothing soul-shattering. I went into these chapters thinking I don’t really think I need to forgive anyone. I don’t get wronged very often. But as I read through it, I thought of smaller things, which if not approached with the correct attitude, could spawn a soul of bitterness.
This chapter reminded me of a time many years ago when I went through a season of forgiveness as a teenager, at a time when every emotion is already compounded by raging hormones and a self-centred developmental stage.
I was working in a greenhouse and a co-worker told my supervisor a lie about me for no apparent reason except to make herself look better than me in his eyes. This was devastating to me, and it impacted my relationships with most of our co-workers, as it was juicy gossip that everyone loves to hear and believe. After a few more days it was horribly isolating, and I never wanted to go back to work. I quit my job there. Later, because we lived in a small town, I heard that her father had been arrested and would be in jail for a few years, and her mother was committed to a psych ward as an addict. I immediately felt so sorry for her, realized that her home life likely fed into her ridiculous behaviour, and forgave her for the small wrongs she had done me. But it definitely took me feeling superior to prompt forgiveness.
This chapter made me think back to the few times when I’ve had to forgive someone. It usually ends up looking something like: “Well, I think I have a pretty great life, and yours looks kind of crappy in comparison, so as long as I feel I have the upper hand, I can let it slide.” Pretty ugly, huh? Pretty human, I’d say. Maybe I should read this chapter again!
I wish so much I could have been in the room with you all as this chapter meant a great deal to me. Kelli, your description of your friend situation and forgiveness story so much mirrored the last 2 years of my life. Won’t go into the long drawn out tail but suffice to say that I am currently in a battle of will’s with God. ( I fully understand this is a losing…and yet winning…battle, so no need to correct me) I want to belong to a group of friends who really don’t want to belong to me. I have definitely felt the sting of being “tolerated” at a social gathering (pg100) and have spent time crying and reflecting on what I am doing wrong. To hear you say that you journeyed through a moment of God speaking into your soul with “Take this as if from my hand” absolutely brought me to my knees, literally.
It truly allowed my perspective to change. As if I had been viewing through a dirty glass for so long, and you provided the Windex. I see that my situation too is from above and from a possible perspective of protection and not withholding.
Thank you for being so transparent and allowing God to use your pain to minister to me.
Seed: The chapter on forgiveness has definitely showed me that there are some people who have wronged me (and don’t care that they have done so) that I need to forgive and let that hurt go.
Water: I’m working really hard to be more forgiving and not be so quick to want to hold onto that hurt when someone has wronged me.
Bloom/Grow: I’m hoping that as God works in my life I will be able to forgive as though it is second nature without having to consciously remind myself to let go of the hurt and just forgive.
I, too, am a little behind and playing catch up with my reading… these 2 chapters on forgiveness are likely the whole reason I found this site, this book, these videos. I am still in the midst of a season of unforgiveness that has lasted 4 years. I am beginning to see its effects in other areas of my life. Just like Angie said in the video “it is coloring the way I see much of life.” So much of what Kelly wrote and what was spoken in the video, I get, I truly do. It’s the practical application of it I still struggle with. I feel as though I’m fine when I don’t have to be around the person. But then, there they are and it all rushes back and I feel powerless to stop it. And everytime I think the next time will be different. I can hang up my issues about control and I can handle that they will never acknowledge the hurt or apologize… I’m done with that. Don’t need it. I just want to move past this.
Some things I gleaned from this chapter….
Those who have forgiven much, love much.
Forgiveness is looking in the face of what our offenders have done, recognizing their wound of all that it is and then choosing to forgive. Still.
Love 1 Peter 4:19
God greatly used the life story of Joseph (I was reading ‘Joseph’ by Charles Swindoll) to impact upon me just before a time when some huge things happened in my life. Things that were hurtful and intentional and done by someone else to me. I truly believe that God used the life of Joseph to plant a seed in my heart at that time that I would later come to see parallels of in my own life. ‘What you meant for evil, God intended for good.’ To cut a long story short it took a lot of working things through for me, the other person still has never acknowledged any wrong and probably never will, but God took me to a place where HE GAVE me forgiveness for that person. I honestly felt as though it wasn’t something that I mustered up from myself because the hurts were so deep. It just seemed so much more poignant to me that God gave me a forgiveness for this person, for the wrongs that had been done to me and allowed me to ‘let go’ of the hurt and to give it all to the Lord. That didn’t take away the wounds, it didn’t stop the hurt but it meant that I had a safe place to go with my hurts and wounds, to the arms of Jesus, to the lover of my soul, who forgave me so much and could GIVE me forgiveness for someone else. Thank you for bringing out so much of Joseph’s story in these two chapters. God puts such treasures in His word for us to learn from and Joseph is certainly one story that still gives me goosebumps at the grace God gives Joseph and He calls us to that same thing today. (Sorry I’m so behind in this study. I’m slowly running to catch up with you as you near the finish line of the last chapters of this book.)