Flow in Forgiveness

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]M[/mk_dropcaps]y father loved to play golf. I enjoyed how far from swimming and water polo it was,so going to the driving range together was special father-daughter bonding time.  We would occasionally go to the local chip and putt courses as both of us (especially me) were not on the PGA track.  As with any course, there is always a token pond or some kind of water source (typically man made). Maybe you can relate, I have an aversion to the distinctive smell of stagnant water. Even on recalling this memory now I can smell it.  Que gag  reflex.  The reason those man made waters smell so bad is because there is little to no flow. All kinds of bacteria and critters breed in that water. Just like the stagnant waters of those ponds,  our hearts will grow all sorts of bitterness, jealousy, envy, depression, and anxiety without a flow of forgiveness. A challenge we all must tackle in confronting ourselves as the opponent to our own destinies is forgiveness. Many of us look at forgiveness as a feeling instead of what it really is, a choice. It is like a gate.  You can open and close it as you will.  When we are unforgiving keeping the gate closed  begins to act like a damn in our hearts blocking the flow of God in our lives. Let me be quite clear here as well, forgiveness is very different from trust.  Trust is something that must be earned.  Forgiveness on the other hand is best executed by flowing freely.In Matthew 6:14-15 and Mark 11:25 it says our own forgiveness from the Lord is contingent on our ability to forgive those who have hurt us. There are many things I could say about this truth, but today I want to focus on just one:

We are to remain in the flow of God’s love and grace by letting forgiveness flow freely from our heart.  We take ourselves out of the position of receiving forgiveness when we block the flow of forgiveness out toward others. Our hearts in this state turn into a stale and stagnant environment (just like those man made ponds). This is one of the key areas that blocks so many of us from living out the destiny God has appointed us to live.  Why is that? Glad you asked..

When we are unwilling to forgive we in essence are locking ourselves up in our very own prison. The gate is closed not only keeping our offenders in, but even more so ourselves. You give the enemy room to come in and like the bacteria in the pond breed all sorts of nasty things within you. The part that is so convicting is that this hinges on our own choices and ability to trust the Lord.  My friend it is a crucial decision that we trust that He is the only one who is fully able to bring us justice.  Our responsibility is not to dish out punishment, but to be ambassadors of Him.  That means extending grace and love to others and choosing to forgive. Let me repeat again, does not mean we have to trust our offenders.

Today my message is simple.  If you feel stagnant in life, or like things are stale chances are there is someone you have yet to forgive.  It really is one of three options.  It may be a loved one who betrayed your trust, hurt or violated you.  Perhaps it is something that you have yet to forgive yourself of.   My dear friend, if the Lord who is perfect in all ways can forgive you and not only that redeem you from it, why hold yourself in a prison of your own making?  Lastly (this one comes from a misconception of the character of the Lord based off our parental relationships or closest friends)is being unforgiving to the Lord. Ask the Lord to bring to mind who you may need to forgive.  And then remain in the flow of forgiveness forever forward.  It is not dependent on an emotion but exercising your authority and power of choice bringing into alignment all of yourself.  It is in the flow where God can take us further than we could ever go before.  Throw wide open the gate of forgiveness and you will realize a capacity to love God, yourself, and others far more than you thought possible.  But first things first… step into the flow.