Below are some additional interactions on the article: Controlling My Anger. Read it first.
Check out Ephesians 4:31–32
Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort.
Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
Did you know that in the original Greek language “Get rid of” means “to remove, to separate yourself from”? Drives home this verse well, doesn’t it? Don’t just get rid of these things, remove yourself from them; stand apart from these things; don’t be associated with them.
How can you do a better job or separating yourself from these things today?
Forgiveness can be a tough thing. Where do we start; what is it? Check out this short article to see what Rose Sweet has to say about what forgiveness really is and remember that secrecy and denial keep anger raging; forgiveness brings back joy and life. The challenge is to look at these things and to be honest with yourself. Which of these things did you know; which were a little confused? Challenge yourself; learn what true forgiveness is and apply this to your life today.
Forgiveness and Restoration
by Rose Sweet
Why Do We Find It So Hard to Forgive?
One reason we resist forgiving is that we don’t really understand what forgiveness is or how it works. We think we do, but we don’t. Most of us assume that if we forgive our offenders, they are let off the hook — scot-free — and get to go about their merry ways while we unfairly suffer from their actions. We also may think that we have to be friendly with them again, or go back to the old relationship. While God commands us to forgive others, he never told us to keep trusting those who violated our trust or even to like being around those who hurt us. The first step to understanding forgiveness is learning what it is and isn’t. The next step is giving yourself permission to forgive and forget, letting go of the bitterness while remembering very clearly your rights to healthy boundaries.
- Forgiveness is not letting the offender off the hook. We can and should still hold others accountable for their actions or lack of actions.
- Forgiveness is returning to God the right to take care of justice. By refusing to transfer the right to exact punishment or revenge, we are telling God we don’t trust him to take care of matters.
- Forgiveness is not letting the offense recur again and again. We don’t have to tolerate, nor should we keep ourselves open to, lack of respect or any form of abuse.
- Forgiveness does not mean we have to revert to being the victim. Forgiving is not saying, “What you did was okay, so go ahead and walk all over me.” Nor is it playing the martyr, enjoying the performance of forgiving people because it perpetuates our victim role.
- Forgiveness is not the same as reconciling. We can forgive someone even if we never can get along with him again.
- Forgiveness is a process, not an event. It might take some time to work through our emotional problems before we can truly forgive. As soon as we can, we should decide to forgive, but it probably is not going to happen right after a tragic divorce. That’s okay.
- We have to forgive every time. If we find ourselves constantly forgiving, though, we might need to take a look at the dance we are doing with the other person that sets us up to be continually hurt, attacked, or abused.
- Forgetting does not mean denying reality or ignoring repeated offenses. Some people are obnoxious, mean-spirited, apathetic, or unreliable. They never will change. We need to change the way we respond to them and quit expecting them to be different.
- Forgiveness is not based on others’ actions but on our attitude. People will continue to hurt us through life. We either can look outward at them or stay stuck and angry, or we can begin to keep our minds on our loving relationship with God, knowing and trusting in what is good.
- If they don’t repent, we still have to forgive. Even if they never ask, we need to forgive. We should memorize and repeat over and over: Forgiveness is about our attitude, not their action.
- We don’t always have to tell them we have forgiven them. Self-righteously announcing our gracious forgiveness to someone who has not asked to be forgiven may be a manipulation to make them feel guilty. It also is a form of pride.
- Withholding forgiveness is a refusal to let go of perceived power. We can feel powerful when the offender is in need of forgiveness and only we can give it. We may fear going back to being powerless if we forgive.
- We might have to forgive more than the divorce (Or other life event). Post-divorce problems related to money, the kids, and schedules might result in the need to forgive again and to seek forgiveness ourselves.
- We might forgive too quickly to avoid pain or to manipulate the situation. Forgiveness releases pain and frees us from focusing on the other person. Too often when we’re in the midst of the turmoil after a divorce (or other life event), we desperately look for a quick fix to make it all go away. Some women want to “hurry up” and forgive so the pain will end, or so they can get along with the other person. We have to be careful not to simply cover our wounds and retard the healing process.
- We might be pressured into false forgiveness before we are ready. When we feel obligated or we forgive just so others will still like us, accept us, or not think badly of us, it’s not true forgiveness—it’s a performance to avoid rejection. Give yourself permission to do it right. Maybe all you can offer today is, “I want to forgive you, but right now I’m struggling emotionally. I promise I will work on it.”
- Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. It’s normal for memories to be triggered in the future. When thoughts of past hurts occur, it’s what we do with them that counts. When we find ourselves focusing on a past offense, we can learn to say, “Thank you, God, for this reminder of how important forgiveness is.”
- Forgiveness starts with a mental decision. The emotional part of forgiveness is finally being able to let go of the resentment. Emotional healing may or may not follow quickly after we forgive.
From A Woman’s Guide to Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce, published by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2001, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.
Taken from: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/forgiveness-and-restoration/
Forgiveness is something we all need and all need to give. When we forgive we set ourselves free. Free from bitterness, anger, rage. It’s strange really, how it all works. Check out this quote from C. S. Lewis. See what he has to say about forgiveness.
“Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved.”
Take a few minutes and think over these questions after reading this quote.
What are some things that come to mind when you read this?
Do you agree or disagree? Are their times when forgiveness is impossible?
Is there something in your life now that you need to seek forgiveness for? Do you need to forgive someone?
Exodus 34:21—No matter the season of your life, remember to rest as the Lord has commanded.
Exodus 20:11—The Lord set the example for us; he gave us a rhythm to live by; six days of work and on the seventh day, a day of rest.
Mark 2:23–28—The teachers of the law were upset with Jesus because his followers did not obey God’s law for the Sabbath, but Jesus shares with them that the Sabbath was made for people to rest and be restored, not to burden
Ephesians 4:26–27—Sometimes we will get angry; it’s a reality of life; but when you do, do not stay angry all day; give it to God and forgive so that you don’t sin.
John 10:7–10—Jesus offers to be our shepherd, to be with us and to guide us. His desire is to give us a life that is full. We can have that when we follow him and follow his design for life.
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
- Go back and read Exodus 34:21. What season of life are you in now? What will you do today to find rest for your soul, to do things you love and to restore the kind of life full of joy that God intended for you? Write it out. Start today.
- Who are other people who can join you on this journey? Why would you pick these specific people? Talk to at least one friend, parent or sibling. Share with them what you have learned and see if they would like to join you on your quest for true rest and renewal of your heart and soul.
- Make a list of things that you love to do. If you had asked me before my summer in Denver, my list probably would have been one or two things long, so it’s okay if yours is too; but as you continue on this journey, keep adding to this list. What are things you can do that bring you great joy in life? Pursue these things. Write it down on your calendar or school planner; schedule your time for you.
- Work hard, rest well and play often. How can you incorporate this rhythm into your life today? Do you have a church that you regularly attend? Check some out if you don’t. Do you have time where you can just rest? Have you finished your list of things you love to do? Do these things; when we live a life of balance and take care of our hearts, anger becomes a smaller and smaller issue.
Take some time and check out this playlist of songs. What do you hear as you listen to the lyrics? What do the different artists have to say about control, forgiveness and freedom. Take your time. You may know some of the songs, but listen to them again; maybe something new will stand out.