Have you ever noticed that forgiveness is much like the Recycle Bin on your computer? I know, strange analogy but I was thinking about it the other day, and the similarities are quite scary!
When it comes to forgiving someone, especially someone close to us, we can really have a hard time. Usually it means that we have been hurt and wronged in some way. That someone we love a lot has reached in and tore our heart out, or at least it feels that way.
I mean, who wants to forgive someone that tore our heart out and stomped all over it? No one.
However, if we ever want that relationship to be repaired, we must forgive that person. If you don’t want that relationship repaired but you want to stop hurting, then forgiving is the only way to overcome that pain and sorrow.
When we don’t forgive, we hold on to, dwell and replay that hurtful memory over and over again. There is no way to overcome and get better when all that negativity is running-a-muck in our heads.
As a matter of fact, it will get worse. Dwelling on the matter will help you to create a bigger scenario than it originally was. It will help you to make the terrible memory more lasting and more unforgettable. Talk about a drain on your life and happiness.
I’ve seen it before with myself and friends. Several years back an incident happened, nothing severe but just some hurtful words and actions. Some of the friends that were involved never forgave those that did the hurting. Years had passed and some those friends still dwelled on that incident, replaying it, talking about it, thinking about it…all the time. I rarely saw smiles on those friend’s faces anymore. They never seemed happy. It hurt my heart to see them aching about something that should’ve been let go. It would be no big deal if it didn’t affect their lives, but it did…it still does.
THE RECYCLE BIN
So, back to the Recycle Bin part of the message! Thinking about my computer and the recycle bin I realized it’s much like our relationships that have gone wrong. It’s just like hurtful things that have been done to us.
On our computer, we put things on it, like programs, apps, games and such. Much of those we put on there on purpose. Every once in a while, something shows up that we didn’t put there. That we didn’t intend to be on our computer. Those things can be damaging to our computer, can completely ruin it and destroy all that good that is on there, all the hard work that we have done over the years.
Thankfully the computer makers, the geniuses behind our modern technology, created something special just for us to get rid of those things that have accidentally showed up or things that we are done with and don’t need anymore. Its the handy-dandy Recycle Bin! It’s one of the best features on computers, in my opinion.
We can trash the stuff that doesn’t belong, whether it was put there on purpose or by accident, whether it was something we don’t need anymore or something malicious meant to destroy our computer.
BUT… even though we trash those items into the Recycle Bin, they aren’t really gone, yet. They are still on your computer, just hidden in a special holding compartment. The Recycle Bin is not permanent at first. It’s there so if you accidentally trash something, you can recover it if needed.
When we are sure though, that we don’t need or want what’s in that Recycle Bin, then we Empty the Trash, permanently. Then it’s gone. There is little chance of ever recovering whatever it was that was in that Bin. If there was something malicious that we trashed into the Recycle Bin, we usually empty the Recycle Bin right away and feel much better that there is no more threat of danger, destruction and unhappiness.
Forgiveness is EXACTLY the same way!!
We have these incidences that happen to us. Someone hurts us. Someone does wrong to us. We’re devastated and hurt. Most of the times, we do want to get rid of the hurt and not think or dwell on it for long.
Sometimes we are willing to forgive, or at least we think we are forgiving.
FORGIVE = FORGET
But part of forgiving is forgetting!
When you forgive someone, that hurtful thing is supposed to be left in the past and forgotten. It’s not supposed to be brought up in arguments any more. We’re not to use those hurts against the other person, if we have forgiven them.
When you forgive, put that hurt in your Recycle Bin and then… hit Empty the Trash! Once you empty the trash, that hurt is forgotten. There is no more recycling of it. It’s gone.
Quit keeping your Recycle Bin full of hurtful unforgiveness. If you don’t Empty the Trash, it will linger, it can pop back up. It still has the potential to destroy you.
MARRIAGE AND FORGIVENESS
If you want your marriage to improve and get better, you have to make the decision to forgive your husband, no matter what wrong he did to you and your marriage. The only way to move forward and strengthen your marriage is to start with forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness, then there will be no moving forward. You have to Empty the Trash!
Just because you are hurt, is not good enough reason to not forgive your husband. Others may oppose him too and may not like him or agree with what he has done. They may have a bad outlook on your husband just because of the hurtful thing he did. He may be a good man underneath the mistake he made. He’s human. We all makes mistakes and are worth of a second chance and forgiveness.
Only when you forgive him will others too. If you don’t forgive him, you can lead him into becoming more discouraged and lose hope for your marriage and life. You must reaffirm your love for him and forgive him. You must heal yourself and forgive him. It’s the only way to begin to repair your marriage.
Not only is forgiveness important for his well being, but when we hold unforgiveness in our heart, we open the door for the enemy to kill and destroy the rest of our marriage. When there is unforgiveness, satan can outsmart you with his evil schemes. I don’t want that in my life, do you?
WHAT FORGIVENESS IS NOT
- Warm fuzzy feeling
- Saying, “that’s ok,” and leaving it at that
- Remembering the past mistakes
- Holding a grudge
- Bringing up a past “forgiveness” in a current argument
- Staying angry at the “forgived” person
- Dwelling on a past forgiven mistake
- Gossiping to your friends or family about what that other person or group did.
- Trying to analyze why they did it, how they did, what they were thinking about doing it.
WHAT FORGIVENESS IS
- Making a conscious decision to forget and let go of something that happened , how you were wronged, how someone was mean to you
- Forgetting past mistakes
- Putting it completely out of your mind
- Never bringing it up again
- Draw a line in the sand, step over it and don’t look back
- Never holding a grudge for something that happened, or how you were wronged
- Never gossiping about it
- Starting over
5 STEPS ON HOW TO FORGIVE
- Let the other person apologize if they are going to. Listen to them without judgement. Let them complete their apology. (If the other person isn’t going to apologize, forgive them anyways)
- If you need to take it before God first, then do so. Go to scripture to see what it says about forgiveness. Give your cares and burdens to Him. He is greater and can handle your sorrows much better than you can. Allow Him to do His job. He wants you to have a forgiving heart, just as He has one for you.
- Come back to that person and tell them you forgive them completely.
- Once you have forgiven them, you must completely forget about what happened. You must let it go and never bring it back into existence. Forgiving is treating the hurt as if it never happened. That is what God did with us when He forgave our sins. He no longer remembers them, they are the past and forgotten. We have a clean slate. Give your husband a clean slate. Never bring it back up again. If the problem creeps back into your mind, take it before God again. Get it off of your shoulders and onto His. Empty the Trash!
- It’s a new beginning. Start over.
SCRIPTURES ON FORGIVENESS
- Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
- Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13
- Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37
- And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12
- And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation. – Luke 11:4
- But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too – Mark 11:25
- But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive you. – Matthew 6:15
- I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. – 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
Forgiving = Forgetting
Empty the Trash!
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