Text: Matthew 6:12, 14-15; Matthew artificial eyelashes price
Lcrox It goes without question that there are many hurting people in society. People are emotionally damaged and dysfunctional. At some point in life we all go through situations that we feel will overwhelm us. These situations can leave us feeling angry, discouraged, disappointed, depressed and frustrated. We may want to react by lashing out, withdrawing, giving up or ending it all. We are human beings and we artificial eyelashes price, at times intensely. Broken items can be repaired and God is able to heal hurting persons. One important key to being healed is forgiveness.
The Prayer and the Parable
There are several things that we can look at in the prayer that Jesus taught us and the parable He shared with the disciples on forgiveness. We are only entitled to pray for forgiveness if we have already forgiven others. To forgive is to let go, to give up a debt by not demanding it. A debt is literally that which is owed, but in this context it refers to sin. People will sin against us and the principle is simple: if we forgive them, God will forgive us. The rabbis of the day recommended forgiving no more than three times. Peter, therefore, was being Peter was being generous by mentioning seven times. Jesus’ response would have been a shock to the disciples and would have gone against all that they had been taught. Forgiveness was not to be for a mere seven times but was to be done seventy times seven, a number that refers to unlimited amount (the multiples of seven signify perfection).
To illustrate His point, Jesus tells a parable about an unmerciful servant. This servant owed his master 10, 000 talents. A talent was the highest unit of currency and was equal to 15 years of wages. Jesus made the story even more dramatic by using the number 10,000, which was the highest Greek numeral. This would mean that the servant owed 150,000 years of wages. The king threatened punishment against the man and his artificial eyelashes price: They would be sold into slavery to repay the debt. The servant begged and promised to pay back everything. This was of course impossible and may indicate the kind of dishonest character of the servant. The master was gracious and cancelled the debt.
We go from one scene to another scene. The servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who only owed him a small amount: A denarius was only worth 1 days wage, so the second servant only owed 100 days wages. The servant to whom the debt was owed grabbed the man and began to choke him and demanded that the man pay back all he owed. That man essentially used the same words that the servant had used – “be patient with me.” However, the first servant refused and had the man thrown into prison.
Let’s go to the final scene. Some other servants of the king reported the matter to their master who called in the previously forgiven servant. He labeled the servant wicked and turned him over to the jailers to be tortured. Torturers are persons who elicit the truth by the use of the rack. Jesus wraps up the parable with a sobering statement, “This is how my Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (artificial eyelashes price).
The Debts Owed to Us
People can do a lot to us whether deliberately or unintentionally. Persons have been the victim of various forms of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, neglect, spiritual. Spiritual abuse is a form of emotional abuse where Christians control and manipulate other believers. Often it is identified with pastors/priests who abuse their authority. It can incorporate the other forms of abuse. This particular abuse is extremely damaging because we expect a higher standard from ministers of the gospel. We expect them to be men and women of integrity who represent the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are people who will gossip about us; sometimes the more successful and progressive you are the more people find something to say about you. There are other individuals who will blatantly lie about or to us. Some Christians have been the victims of unfaithfulness. Their spouse may have been cheating on them for years and to rub salt in the wounds, they may have been doing so indiscriminately and unapologetically. Things like that can leave a spouse devastated.
There are persons who have been the victims of assault. Some children have been or are being bullied at school. Others know what it is to be attacked, beaten and robbed. They may know what it is for someone to break into their homes. There are those who have experienced the horrors of rape, their bodies violated, in some cases, by a person that was trusted. Some have been the victims of accidents; or their loved one was injured or killed because of the artificial eyelashes price of someone else. Some of us know what it is to be subject to control and manipulation: this could be by an employer, a family member, a pastor, a friend. It may have been that at the time we were artificial eyelashes price or immature and didn’t quite understand that we were being taken advantage of.
We may also experience someone hurting or killing a friend, family member, or even someone that we respect. This can result in strong feelings of rage and desire for retaliation, even though we were not the victims. We can be offended by others in a number of different ways. For example, somebody fails to speak to you, your spouse fails to compliment you, someone may accidentally step on your foot, you didn’t receive what you wanted for your birthday. These things may seem slight, but we can be offended by them. All of the above are “debts” that people owe us, sins that they have perpetrated against us. There may be the feeling, therefore, that we have a right to hold on to these things.
The Damage of Unforgiveness
Unforgiveness can lead to hatred, which can start with strong feelings of dislike. Based on what the person has done to you, you determine that you don’t like him or her. You reach a place where you don’t want to see that person. This can degenerate into wishing that something bad would happen to the person. You may even pray imprecatory prayers over the person, for example, praying that God will kill them or cause them to get into an accident; instead of adopting a position of blessing, you adopt a position of cursing. You may also try to undermine the person through such things as gossip, slander and passive aggression.
Unforgiveness leads to anger. Persons are angry at those who have hurt them, not a passing anger (that is normal when a person has been hurt), but an abiding anger, an anger that is settled and becomes the dominant emotion. Persons who are angry ruminate on the injury that was done to them, that is, their mind recycles the hurt – they constantly rehearse what the person did to them. This intensifies the anger. Holding on to anger can also lead to displaced aggression, in which persons take out their anger on the innocent, sometimes, in addition to retaliating against the person who had hurt them. In some cases, hurt and angry persons may not have the capacity or the opportunity to take out their anger on the person responsible for their hurt, so they turn to a substitute. While anger that is externalized leads to artificial eyelashes price, anger that is internalized leads to depression. Persons who are unable or unwilling to act on their anger become depressed.
Unforgiveness also leads to bitterness. It is hard to define bitterness. It is a combination of intense anger, feelings of disappointment, vindictiveness, hatred, negativity and feelings of not getting what you deserved or that you have been ill-treated. People who harbor unforgiveness internalize anger to the point that they become bitter. Bitter people are always critical, spiteful (desire to take revenge, to lash out) and have a victim mentality (they feel that life and people are against them).
The most critical effect of unforgiveness is spiritual separation. Unforgiveness and all of its negative emotions affect our relationship with God. Unforgiveness affects our ability to pray, worship, apply the Word and enjoy loving fellowship with the saints. The efficacy of our prayers is hindered, and we also don’t usually feel like praying when we have unforgiveness in our hearts. The same applies to our worship and the reading and application of the Word. Unforgiveness hinders our ability to both love and be loved, leading to fractured relationships in the church. Unless unforgiveness is repented of it will destroy our relationship with God. It can also lead to spiritual deception: you’re holding persons in your heart, but you believe that God is answering your prayers. You believe that God is enjoying your artificial eyelashes price. You believe that you have an intimate relationship with God. This is serious spiritual deception; love for God must be vitally connected with love for the people around us.
Holding on to unforgiveness can cause disorientation: you don’t feel like yourself. To use a cliché, you don’t know if you’re going or coming. You are being controlled by the person that you are holding in your heart. Sometimes, those individuals may not even be aware that they have caused offense, or they may not be thinking of the pain and the hurt they caused. You are also being influenced by the devil. Unforgiveness can also lead to mental illness. It can result in neurosis – mental and emotional problems. You begin to live in a fantasy world, a world of lies and deception to cover up the pain that you are feeling. Defense mechanisms kick in and you retreat into a bubble to protect yourself.
Some people who have unforgiveness in their heart experience physical sickness. While joy and peace have positive effects on the body, unforgiveness has a detrimental effect on the body. Both experience and studies indicate that negative emotions can result in various artificial eyelashes price. Unforgiveness blocks your prayers, so it becomes a barrier to healing. There are persons who wanted to be healed and nothing happened, until they forgave a person that they were angry with. Man is body, soul and spirit: whatever affects the body can affect the soul and the spirit; whatever affects the soul can affect the body and the spirit.
It is no surprise that unforgiveness leads to broken relationships. It has destroyed numerous marriages. Husbands or wives could not let go of some issue, anger and bitterness resulted leading to separation and eventually divorce. Forgiveness potentially leads to reconciliation. If couples practice forgiveness, then they will be able to maintain a good marriage; conflicts that could have destroyed the marriage are dealt with. Broken relationships are not limited to the home. Friendships and work relationships can be destroyed. Relationships in the church can also be destroyed: pastors and congregants can be alienated; members can be hostile to each other and unfortunately pastors could be unforgiving to other pastors.
Earlier, I mentioned not feeling like yourself because of the influence of the devil. Unforgiveness can eventually lead to demonic oppression and in extreme cases to possession. Unforgiveness displaces God and opens you to the influence of demonic spirits. It allows demonic strongholds to develop in your life. Unforgiveness can also affect work performance. You can become so angry and bitter that you do not properly focus on your work, work quality artificial eyelashes price and relationships are negatively affected. Unforgiveness leads to self-defeating and destructive behavior. It causes you to do foolish things: react with bad attitudes, do things to get back at people; it prevents you from getting ahead, being focused and taking good care of yourself (physically, spiritually, emotionally).
Learning to Let Go
Life can be antagonistic and we will get hurt to lesser or greater degrees. It is important to process your hurt. This involves admitting it and thinking it through. You’re not obsessively dwelling on the hurt, but you are processing what happened and how you feel about it. Are you disappointed, angry or hurt? Did you do anything wrong that justified the person’s action or reaction? Is there a reason why a person may have done a particular thing? Processing the hurt means that you don’t deny what has happened. Some people brush off incidents; they refuse to deal with any difficult situations in their lives. However, such denial leads to suppression, which leads to spiritual, emotional and physical problems.
While we need to forgive others, we also need to ask for forgiveness from God and from others. We need forgiveness for harboring negative emotions, for reacting wrongly to hurt, for holding on to the hurt. We need to recognize that God has forgiven us (when we accepted Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior), He forgives us now (when we confess and repent of our sins), and He will continue to forgive us (because of His grace and artificial eyelashes price). The debt we owed Him was greater than anything anyone owes us. Remember the example of Jesus: He was mocked, His beard was pulled out, He was beaten, stripped naked and crucified on a cross; yet He forgave.
Ask God to fill you with His love and the other fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22, 23 list the fruit of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The most important of these qualities is love. Love is deep, unconditional, positive regard for others. It is not based on what people do, but on what God has done in us. We are to love all people even those who have hurt us. To love others in this way can only be done through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In other words, love is a supernatural trait that comes from God. God demonstrated this kind of love when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for the penalty of man’s sin.
An important part of forgiveness is learning to forgive yourself. Sometimes we have a hard time forgiving ourselves and therefore, we find it hard to forgive others. We may tend to condemn ourselves, which leads to feelings of guilt, anxiety, frustration, discouragement and depression. The Bible makes it clear that there is no condemnation for the person who is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). If we have confessed our sins, then God applies His grace, love, blood and forgiveness. Therefore, we have no right to continue to condemn ourselves. The devil is the one who accuses us, and we are not to partner with him and take ownership of his artificial eyelashes price. Tell yourself, “I am forgiven and I forgive myself.”
In order to forgive, especially when we have been extensively hurt by others, we need to make the effort to understand people. We need to learn as much as we can about human nature, the differences between others and us, the things that “make us tick,” background (experiences that have shaped people). This will help us to have realistic expectations of people and to understand why people may react the way that they do. This in no way excuses what people do, but it does allow us to empathize, to find it in our heart to forgive and to even reach out to help the person who has hurt us.
We must learn to talk to others. There is a misconception that we must be able to handle all issues on our own. In Galatians 6, two burdens are mentioned. One is the burden that each individual must carry – this is his/her share of the load. There is another burden that must be shared – this burden is too heavy for one person to carry. God has put us in a body of believers for a reason. The church has its flaws, but there are loving persons that we can talk to that can help us through difficult situations. Learn to talk to a trusted friend or a minister of the gospel. They can pray with and for you, listen empathetically and provide guidance that can help you to release those hurts that persons have caused you.
God’s grace is greater than any hurt. Regardless of what persons have done to you, God can give you the ability and the capacity to overcome. He has called you to live a life of victory. When you learn to forgive, when you let go, it will bring freedom, deliverance and blessings.