“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:35 NIV
I made the two girls explain why they were fighting. Name calling, poking, then hands swinging. One at a time repeat after me. “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” Each girl repeated rather compliantly. Then, I told them to look at each other and say, “Yes, I forgive you.” Both looked at me in disbelief as if I had just told them to eat their most disgusting type of food. It was the unspoken “Say what?” face. One complied. The other said it, but would not look the other girl in the eyes. Where was the disconnect?
The final step of the anatomy of forgiveness originates in the heart. The mind has presented all of the arguments pertaining to the offense. It reminds you how unfair you have been treated. It lays out in detail how everything unfolded that brought you to the place of your own defense of your actions (that guy is a jerk who cut me off and almost ran me off the road). Your mind presents fact (one sided) after fact to your heart so that your heart can make a judgment concerning the matter.
Don’t look to your emotions for help either. They raise your blood pressure every time you start to think about the offense. Your breathing becomes shallow and your heart rate goes up. Anger is breaking out of its closet and looking for a voice to express itself. Then the phone rings and all the emotions jump behind the bush so that you have the full composure to say, “Hello.” Emotions don’t lead, they follow.
The heart is the helm of the boat in which the captain steers. Every decision that the captain makes influences the whole ship and everybody on board has to go where he has decided to lead. Notice also that the captain shouts out the new course heading and then a person begins to turn the wheel to follow the command. Speak then act.
Likewise, forgiveness is spoken most of the time long before we feel like really forgiving. The heart makes a willful decision of the direction to go and then voices that decision. The heart makes a judgment to release the offense. You cancel their debt you are owed knowing that the person will never be able to make it right. You don’t condone their actions or your own. You judge that the matter is in the past and therefor cut all ties from its influence over you in the present. Yes, it happened and you may have scars. But the ball and chain are released through forgiveness.
After speaking forgiveness, turn the wheel in the direction of forgiveness. Remember the abundant forgiveness that Jesus offers you. Allow you heart to feel peace again over hurtful memories. Don’t be controlled by fear, follow the path of love.
One of the girls never really looked at the other, she just kept looking at me repeating the last phrase.Then her heart spoke, “I don’t care if I get into trouble…she started it.” She remained bound to the offense.
May God lead you to set your heart free – FORGIVE FROM THE HEART
Blessings Love y’all