As Believers, in order for us to function effectively in Yah’s Kingdom, it is essential – required even, that we understand and live out lifestyle of forgiveness. This very thing is what has brought us into the Kingdom and i believe it is also what “keeps us there”. It is core of Who Yah is and what His plan is for us in relation to Him and each other. It is the core to Biblical love, which covers a multitude of sins. It will keep us in line with His will and position us to be true ambassadors for Him. If we can’t ‘get this’, the feasts, the commandments, and even our profession of faith is fruitless. I have been talking with a dear sister out of state on this topic and have been sharing the things Yah has taught me in this. These are things that we (Ben and Pamela) believe and choose to live. What I am about to share is my laymen’s terms -from one heart to another – as Yah has taught me consistently over the last 30 years of my walk with him. These are core things of our faith, that I want to make sure my children understand and practice well. There is a law of forgiveness, it is built into Yah’s design and crucial for us to GET if we are to walk in the fullness of His Way. This coupled with love and obedience are the core principals that set us apart. We should be master lovers, forgivers, and “cooperators” (obedience) with Yah. Test this sweet family. If anything needs clarity, please ask. If anyone has trouble walking this out, please ask (publicly or privately).
There are many misconceptions and lies around forgiving that we might need to chip away. Lets start there:
- I can’t forgive. – This is not true. Forgiveness is a choice. If you are coherent enough to make any choice – you are able to forgive.
- What they did was too vicious, wicked or deep to forgive. – This is not true. The transgression may be absolutely heinous but Yah has designed forgiveness as the ultimate act of love. Forgiveness does not release them from judgement, but it does release the FORGIVER/victim from it in a way. We are judged on the matter of the heart as well as our actions. The act of forgiving disconnects us from the incident. Before we forgive, we are “married” to the tragedy. We have burned it onto out brain through thought connected to heightened emotions and that bad situation has branded us. We have taken it into our identity. Into who we are. This is highly destructive! Our emotions (the heart is deceptively wicked) trick us into thinking that doing this protects us, but the opposite takes place. It kills us like drips of slow poison!! Forgiveness is Yah’s precious design to create the door fromvictimization/pain/anger/powerlessness/fear/vengefulness/trauma loops/sickness/pride (all things bad and destructive) to allow us to enter into embracing ourselves honestly/ others/ trust/love/Yah/ freedom (all things good in Yah!)! This is required of the transgressor as well to process whatever it is who brought him to His place of transgression.
- They do not deserve forgiveness. Yah is just – justice will be done according to each of our hearts! No matter who we are – victim or transgressor. If our hearts are hardened (and they are when we do not forgive) We face the same judgement as the one who did the awful thing. We do not want to join them in the place by hardening our own hearts – because then we will be judged for that!
- I missed my chance to forgive them, because they are dead or gone. Not True. Forgiveness is something we do internally. It is ideal to be communicated to transgressor because forgiveness has the power to save everyone it touches. However, forgiveness is really between us and Yah above all. It is complete surrender of the incident and trusting Yah that His justice will be sufficient. We disconnect ourselves from ‘it’. We have no claim to it and more. We give up that control as a result – we are set free.
- Forgiving them won’t change anything. This is not true. It changes the most important thing. Our internal wellness. I agree that it may not change consequences or results of the damage (for instance a rape victim that might contract a disease or baby – for instance- those things are still there.) However, it does change our hearts and our ability to live life there after in a healthy way! This no small thing! I also agree that it may not change THEM. But again – that is not for us to do. We are way out of line if that is our focus. Yah has given us dominion over ourselves on internal matters – Not others. That person is accountable to Yah himself – the same as us. Forgiveness allows us to release the heart of vengeance that requires anything from that person to complete your healing. (Note: It is true and wise however to remove ourselves (and family) from a toxic or dangerous situation. These are two different topics.)
- If I forgive them, it is like I am saying what happened was OK. This is not true. If you forgive them – you are deciding not to torture yourself over it anymore! Holding unforgiveness damages the victim the most! When we refuse to forgive, negative emotions cement themselves into our being and cause us further heart break in life. We carry this incident with us consciously or unconsciously. Our unforgiveness traps us and yokes us to that painful situation and that person. The transgression should have its own identity separate from us. That transgression should not be embedded into who we are, but that is what we do when we refuse to forgive. If we refuse to let it go, it eventually becomes apart whowe are and how we operate. Then we essentially become a part of the problem. But it we can separate ourselves from it and “rise above it” by keeping the Spiritual Law of Forgiveness – something supernatural happens. It does not condone it – in fact it allows light to shin into the situation!
- They need to do something first, before I forgive them. This is also untrue. Yah has built in the ability for us to be set free from any transgression – ours or someone elses through our act of surrender TO HIM. This is not conditional upon anyone else’s actions or heart conditions. Forgiveness is between you and Yah. No one can stop that process but you. This thought is one that demands control over another. We need to realize that this spirit transferred over to us during the transgression and we accepted it (consciously or unconsciously). When we do that, we actually welcome that same spirit into us that drove the other person to do what they did to us. Ironic right?! But true. We fell into satan’s trap (so to speak). We took the bait –now we are hooked into the controlling spirit of ‘conditional love’ and unforgiveness too and the enemy is reeling us into himself and his ways out or the safety of the living waters of Yah. However, it is at that time that we need to choose whether we are mere animals being lead to the frying pan to be cooked on the alter of a false god OR if we are children of the living El, who will employ the tools ALREADY given to us to break the line!
The TRUTH and power of forgiveness.
- Forgiveness is a choice. It really is that simple. We choose it (or not)! We decide to release a transgression or not.
- Forgiveness transforms people from the inside out. It changes our hearts and minds. It positions us to walk/live in love, mercy, grace, kindness and wisdom. It equips and empowers us to avoid future situations and deal with the ones that arise in honor and power – without regret. It sharpens our discernment and strengthens our resolve. It allows us to see others more compassionately. It suites us up in the armor of Yah. Which causes offence to slip right off our surface like eggs on Teflon – it never gets a chance to stick!!
- Forgiveness breaks chains that bind us to trauma. Where there is light – there can not be darkness. Where there is forgiveness, there can not be offence or any of its trappings. Where there is love, there can not hate. Where there is peace their can not be anger. Where there is faith their can not be doubt.
- Forgiveness heals. Because love is activated and the ties to wickedness are broken – the mind and body respond positively! Instead of producing and reinforcing negative stress chemicals, new thoughts and chemicals are produced, which also result in positive feelings and so the cycle goes in the right direction now. Instead of break down, repair and restoration happens in the mind, in the physical body, in the emotions and in the spirit. This extends into our relationships and changed our whole life.
- Unforgiveness destroys people from the inside out. Our negative thoughts can be conscious or unconscious. This really important to understand. Negative thoughts and feelings can turn us into “bad people”. Basically we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to believe a lie and then that lie festers and grows and branches out to feed a myriad of other lies. The fruits of this are offense, bitterness, anger/violence, fear/anxiety, controlling/ obsessive/impatient behaviors, instability, dysfunctional relationships, sickness/disease, addictions of every kind and it is also the core to depression and insanity. These things can be a challenge to over come. However, Yah has given us the ability to take domination over this!
- Unforgiveness is often the default. It is our flesh’s response to pain. If one is not in the habit of choosing and practicing forgiveness than the human nature is to automatically inclined for offence which leads to unforgiveness, which leads to hardened hearts (a.k.a. bitterness).
- Unforgiveness is bondage. The cycle of unforgiveness is a snare. The more we thrash around in it (by indulging it or repeating it) the tighter it gets and the more entangled in it we become.
- Identify Unforgiveness. Our thoughts, words and feelings give us away. Are you thinking, speaking and feeling negatively toward a person? Does the mention, or sight or association of that person bring about a negative thought or feeling? You may notice that you are antsy, anxious, vengeful thoughts or impatience with others. You may notice your hands sweat, you get a knot in your stomach, a head (or body) aches surfaces, or you may get tired or your heart may start racing, you teeth clench, etc.. You may suspect the involvement, guilt or integrity of others who interact with that person. The list goes on – these are sure signs that there is unforgiveness present. If any one of these things, or a combination of them or similar things surface at the thought, sight or mention of person – you are carrying unforgiveness.
- Projecting doom. Have you ever found yourself projecting doom in relation to another? You can run scenarios in your head about how awful something is going be regarding them. You just “know” what will happen – and its not going to be good. You predict the worse – and you may even be right. This is a sure sign of unforgiveness in you – even if you are right. This is evidence that you have run this unforgiveness record in your brain several times – you have it memorized. It has become apart of you – you know it like the back of your hand. This reality also shows itself when you find yourself arranging your choices and actions in a way that avoids a person or instigate a person (depending your personality)around the projection of impending doom. This is a result of fear of coping, which can also be symptom of unforgiveness.
Practical Application and Understanding:
1. Here is the physical mechanics or spiritual truth: This physical and spirit connection is a recent discovering for me as Yah has led me to understand a little more about how He has created our bodies. Now we are going to touch on the understanding and application of mind of matter in Yah’s design. This applies to both conscious and unconscious thoughts/feelings. This is dealing with the thoughts, feelings and experiences we encounter or generate that need to be processed by our brain. Our brains have to decide what to do with them and where to put them. Our brain is constantly organizing information. We can basically break down our brain into three major parts. For simplicity, I am going to call them thinking, feeling and being. They all work together to process and store our environment’s information. When we encounter a thought or experience – this thought or experience generates a chemical (or series of chemicals) in our body, that in turn creates heightened emotions and feelings. These heightened emotions and feelings generate more thoughts in that direction, which create more (stress or healing) hormones/chemicals, which create more feelings and then this process loops and loops and loops. This looping creates synapses in our brain. (A synopsis is a when two or more neurons connect to each another to form a larger bond in the form of a molecules, these molecules cling together manifesting into a judgement, association, or memory. These judgements, associations and memories create our understanding of our environment, life and the world. This forms the lense of which we see. This creates our belief system which ultimately shapes our actions.) The more synapses are reinforced the stronger they get in conviction. The stronger it gets the bigger influence it has on our entire perception of our existence. Does this make sense? If we are on a negative feed loop – those will be our results. If we are on a positive, holy, righteous, godly loop those will be our results. It is how Yah designed these glorious machines we live in! That is why He has given us so many guidelines and precautions of how to maintain it in good health through His Torah. That is why Y’shua ‘s sacrifice and teachings are so very crucial to our salvation! Does this make sense? Forgiveness sets us free to be in Yah’s Creative will – plugged into his creative spirit, if you will. We are free to design our lives for the better within His framework of truth. We do this while embracing, producing and basking in true love, forgiveness, kindness, mercy and grace in our lives. This is His Way! He requires that we CHOOSE LIFE. (He has placed before us blessings and curses – right?!)
2. To Forgive: We make a choice to honestly and whole heartedly forgive someone/something. What does that look like?
- We lay down that thing/person and disassociate ourselves from it. We no longer own that painful event – we give it Yah and step away from it. It has not hold on us.
- IN doing so – we let go of all the crutches, all the excuses, all the jusfications connected to it. All the behaviors, feelings and thought patterns that have been associated to it in the past, get surrendered with it.
- We give up the right to hold it over them or to make them suffer/pay for what they did.
- We surrender our negative thoughts and feelings.
- We surrender trying to control the matter or influence others in regards to it.
- We disconnect and disassociate with it. You owe it nothing and it owes you nothing.
- You have surrendered it to Yah to handle and you trust Him fully in it.
- You do not need to check in on Yah’s progress or see if he needs your help in the matter. It is surrendered – you are surrendered – permanently, no backsies.
That is forgiveness.
If that is not complete and your conditions or definition leaves a few of those things to remain, it is not honesty/surrender/forgiveness. There is still an element of deceit remaining in you in the form of self preservation, control or self defense that you will not trust to Yah. In this case, I would go back to prayer and offer those idols up that were hidden under your robes, “just in case you need them” later. Yah is no fool- you are not hiding anything from him – you are just deceiving yourself or others when you do that. This is a perversion. True forgiveness requires honesty and transparency between you and The Father. Deceit will lead to a hardened heart.
How do you know when forgiveness is complete? You will know that you have arrived at true and complete forgiveness when the thought, sight, feelings of that person or event can arise and you are not emotionally or physically effected by it, and when thoughts of compassion for that person arise. When you think and feel disconnected from the negative aspects of that person or event and it is replaced with love. This CAN in an instant – but if it doesn’t this is evidence of limited surrender on the “forgiver’s” part. In other words the “forgiver” is holding something back and is not entering into the process with full trust in Yah and for justice. This is a result of a hardened heart on the “forgiver’s” part. I would encourage being deliberate to pressing into the process until the forgiveness is complete. If not – you will be bound to unforgiveness and it sill still control you and be toxic to your health and your other relationships.
3. Learn to forgive – before it is deserved. When an offense occurs – it is wise to choose forgiveness even before it is requested, or suggested. It may never be “asked for”. The person who assaulted you may never repent or believe he did anything wrong. He might even justify what was done and brag about it! That has nothing to do with your choice to forgive him. Forgiveness is not based on someone deserving it or requesting it. It is based on your willingness to release it and disconnect yourself from it! It is a spiritual mind matter. The world would teach you differently. The world would say that forgiveness come when someone deserves it. It would say you make ‘m grovel for it. You make sure you see that they have changed before you even think about forgiving something. That – is a lie. That is no Yah’s design. Yah forgives us to give us first, which gives us the opportunity to change! (Whether we take that or not – is all on us. But the forgiveness give us that choice.) Y’shua offered forgiveness in the MIDST of being beaten. Y’shua did not postpone healing after people “proved it to him”. No- he healed them or prophesied over them, declared them forgiven and said – go forth and sin no more. They were forgiven first. We see this pattern again and again in Scripture – THIS is Yah’s way. His way is higher than mans.
4. Identify triggers and false thought patterns. After we go through the honest process of full forgiveness and surrender to Yah and you trust His justice and do not need to employ your own. Sometimes, long term or especially traumatic instances – unforgiveness can rear its ugly head again. (Mat 12:43-45) We can nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand again and expresses itself by an outburst of some sort. So after we have “cleaned house” we are careful to guard our hearts from anything that would feed that old pattern of unforgiveness. We are keen to audit our thoughts, feelings and physical responses (remember these our signs that give our true spiritual condition away). We rebuke anything in us that is inconsistent with forgiveness, love and freedom. We pray to Yah for strength courage and faithfulness. We replace the lies that are trying to sneak in, with the affirming promises of Yah.
5. Establish new thought patterns, feelings and experiences. You will have many opportunities to practice forgiveness, I can assure you! We are tested on all of Yah’s Kingdom skills! Choose forgiveness as a rule. Align yourself into a lifestyle of forgiveness. It is required of us as believers. This my friends, is a salvation issue!!! This is very closely married to a lifestyle of gratitude. If we are gracious (grateful) about all that which Yah has blessed us with, as a POSTURE, a way of being and we practice forgiveness as lifestyle. Then things that used to set us off, don’t anymore, because we do not need to define ourselves by those things anymore. We use a different measuring stick. We will experience the abundance of kingdom living to its fullest and be used in ways we never imagined. We will be like ice breakers for the Kingdom of Yah; strong, dependable, consistent and powerful in Him. The world will suggest that walking in forgiveness is a sign of weakness…but you will find out and others will eventually also see – that is a sign of supernatural strength! I pray that we could all embrace a lifestyle of love, forgiveness and obedience (cooperation/surrender). If we do, our individual lives and collective lives as families that make up a community will glorify Yah and transcend our wildest dreams!