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And the winner of the BEST "Soul" Food is…

Have you ever been hurt by a loved one? I have. Feelings of neglect, mistrust and doubt begin to close up our heart as we go into protective mode. Emotions of anger and bitterness well up in our soul. We think, How can I forgive this indiscretion, this hurt, this betrayal?

Our will tells us we cannot possibly forgive someone who has deeply hurt us. It becomes a power struggle of self versus selflessness. We may even feel double-teamed by Satan making the trumpet call to send us into battle. Whispering venom like, "I’ve given this person chance after chance", "If I assume they will change, I’m the fool", "I can’t allow myself to be vulnerable to hurt again". But we are never outnumbered when we believe and rely on the power within us. "Greater is He who lives within us than He who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Our Lord asks us to forgive quickly, fully and genuinely, just as He forgives us. EVEN if the person never asks for our forgiveness! EVEN if you feel the person does not have the decency to "come correct" and own up to their mistakes, sins, lies, or hurt.

The best soul food we can give ourselves and others is Forgiveness!

When the Holy Spirit living in us starts to see those weeds of hostility, anger and bitterness growing in our heart, the Holy Spirit goes to work. He reminds us that the Lord has shown us unfathomable mercy and grace. He steers us to God’s Word. Here’s some scripture to rely on when we think we are done with a person, ready to cross them off our list and bury the relationship forever.

  1. Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for sins."
  2. Ephesians 4:32, "Forgive one another quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you."
  3. Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
  4. Colossians 3:13, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Yes, I’ve written about this topic before, but it continues to be a day-to-day necessity to practice and to demonstrate forgiveness and grace to others. I have people come to me and ask, "How do I forgive?" Or they say, "I can’t forgive" or "How can you possibly forgive what happened to you?" I say I can’t...alone. God will oftentimes test us to see how we respond to rude, critical or unlovely people. There are times I don’t want to forgive; however, the Holy Spirit that lives in me gives me the power and love to forgive.

I enjoy peace, I crave peace, but I can’t rest when my heart is vexed and my mind is filled with, "How dare he/she", or "I should have" or (and I’m ashamed to admit but being brutally honest here) "I better not ever see that person again or I will tell them what I really want to say!" The systemic problem with the aforementioned statements are "self"! To forgive, you must be willing to humble yourself and be selfless in your thinking.

Peace is probably one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given me after Salvation. Peace frees me to love. Peace frees me to serve others beyond my capacity because I know what Jesus has done for me. Peace allows me to see past my limited view and to see with God’s eyes that everything isn’t always as it appears…there may be more to that person’s story or their actions then we are privy to know. That’s where we allow Grace to pour out of us. Just as Jesus hears and answers us when we cry out for Mercy and Grace. So with our desire to be God’s Ambassadors we learn and live to extend forgiveness to others. To ensure we are in communion with our Father, we offer forgiveness as He has given us countless times in the past.

As Christians we must live a life of love, forgiveness and reconciliation. If we fail to execute any of these three mandates from Jesus Christ, we fail to understand what the "Good News" really is all about! Our situation changes when we change. Learn to live above the fray. Learn to forgive and in peace, enjoy another day! FORGIVENESS: it’s good for your soul!

Cynthia Jones is a child of God, wife, mom and Shazzy Fitness guest blogger. Cynthia has led several Women’s Ministries for over 30 years; she and her husband serve all over the country, mentoring and teaching couples how to love & grow according to God’s design for Christian marriage.


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