Updated: Feb 20, 2018
It’s difficult to drive forward with your eyes glued to the side view mirror to see what’s behind you. Unfortunately, sometimes in life, we aren’t fully present in the moment because our mind and emotions are still boggled down with the hurt and pain of what happened yesterday. Looking ahead to brighter days can be impaired with a lens that is spotted and smeared with the residue of our past. How do we press forward when our mind and emotions are blurred with yesterday?
One of the greatest habits you can develop in life is forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and others for foolish and hurtful things that have been done and spoken is crucial if you’re going to live in peace. As soon as you notice unforgiveness, offense, and animosity creeping in, start addressing it with the help of God and His Word. Forgiveness is making a decision to release all of the hurt, anger, and animosity you have towards someone and/or a situation. It’s a decision of your will, not emotions, that you will let it go and commit it to the hands of God.
Cast the Care
Sometimes people can hover over a situation like a helicopter, and God is watching the whole time. They're rehearsing and meditating on things in their past that have been hurtful and challenging, and He can’t get in on it because they still have it. Some have even tucked unforgiveness away in a corner of their heart, but it's still there. Some may bring others in on the hurt by rehearsing what someone has done, and they become offended as well. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place to seek counsel and guidance for advice and prayer and we should. What I’m talking about is seeking an audience for the purpose of having them join in on the pain and offense. I love I Peter 5:7 which says,
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
How Do You Cast a Care?
Go to God in prayer, declare in His presence that you are releasing the hurt, pain, situation, etc., over to Him and boldly state that you forgive the person who has hurt you. If needed, forgive yourself for any role you may have played in the situation. Get closure with the Word because you might be waiting for eternity for closure to come from the person with an apology. Thank God that people change and relationships can be restored, but don’t wait to forgive based on another person’s actions or lack thereof.
Get in the Word
Find a scripture in God’s Word that you can meditate on during the day to keep you in a place of forgiveness. Meditation has become a popular spiritual practice in our society, but the meditation I’m referring to is something different. For a Christian, what does the Word say about meditation, and what should we be meditating on? Joshua 1:8 is one of several scriptures in the Bible that uses the word meditate or meditation.
The use of this word in Scripture always points towards meditating upon God and His Word. Meditate means, “To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)." When I reference meditation, I’m talking about taking hold of a scripture, write it on a 3x5 note card, speak it aloud during the day, meditate on the meaning of it and how it applies to you, take time to look up key words in that scripture for further understanding, etc. A supernatural healing is released from God's Word and will begin to work at the roots of hurt and pain that have formed in your heart.
If you’re not sure where to start concerning love and forgiveness, I Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition) is a great place to start to meditate and confess over yourself daily. You can start by personalizing the scripture and saying, "I endure long, I am patient and kind…" II Corinthians 10:4-5 gives us instructions on what to do with thoughts that come to challenge God's Word and our peace. You must cast down thoughts that come to try and pull you back in strife and unforgiveness. When a negative thought comes, out of your mouth say, "In Jesus Name, I cast this thought down, I'm walking in love and forgiveness." Stay open to God as He may direct you on additional steps to take for restoration and healing.
Strife and unforgiveness clouds our judgment and vision so that we stumble and can’t see. Love never fails and through the lens of God's love, we start seeing people and situations in a new way.