Letting Go of Yesterday

Are you really starting ‘fresh this new year?’

I think it’s important to check and see whether or not we have truly forgiven the hurt and bitterness of 2014. It is nice to say “New Year new me” and say that 2015 is a new chapter but you can’t open a new door until you’ve closed the other ones or else they will affect you at some point.

The thing people love to do, myself included, is forgetting about something that hurt us. When given a new beginning, maybe it could be the start of a new relationship, a new city, a new school or in our case, a new year, we think we can move on and forget the hurt and the pain that someone or something caused us in 2014. We have the tendency to just shove it in the deepest part of our memory and forget about it. While I agree that it is important to move on in life and that everyone one must carry on and not dwell on the past, I have found to realize that if you ‘move on’ prior to dealing with something that affected you, it will come back someday and affect you.

Most of the time, we avoid dealing with something maybe because it was a very disappointing period of your life or someone hurt us really bad… Regardless of what the problem may have been, it’s important to realize that you need to face it before you move on. Give yourself some time to heal of course, but do not leave that door of hurt open. Forgetting and forgiving are not the same thing and we need to understand that in order to properly move on, it takes forgiveness rather than forgetfulness.

If you’re like me, whenever someone offends you, you take a while to think about how the whole thing went down. You’ll dwell on how the issue arose and where you may have gone wrong or in the case of a dispute where the other person may have pushed your buttons. You’ll think about how the person upset you or how they disappointed you or hurt your feelings one way or another and sometimes you might have to cry it out.

In my particular case, I’m often quick to forgive, especially when I know I was also in the wrong or when it was a meaningless disagreement, but whenever it is a serious offence, I will take forever! I have to practically argue and negotiate with God about it. There’s no doubt the God will always try to convince us to forgive but because of our emotions, pride and bitterness tries we always try to reason with God in trying to explain to him the entire problem, as if he did not already know. It’s not that he does not empathize that he tells us to drop the issue, it’s actually for the fact that he loves us that he wants to see us live bondage free. However, since we tend to be so bitter and our hearts tend to be so hardened, we refuse to be humble and forgive. It takes some sort of humility to forgive someone who,

  1. does not deserve it
  2. is in the wrong
  3. has not apologized

and not only does it take humility to forgive someone, but it also takes LOVE!

It’s impossible to forgive if not for God

I have to admit that it is absolutely impossible to try and forgive someone on your own. You need the Lord, there is no doubt about it. Because the sort of love that forgiveness requires is not one that you have but that the Lord has. You may find that the people whom you love the most are the hardest to forgive. That is very true. But it’s not your love that will forgive them, but Jesus’ love. To forgive a sinner who does not deserve it… Idk anyone else but Jesus who has experience with that.

He has had to forgive such horrible things you and I have done… He took the fall for my sins the same way He did for your sins. Even before we commit wrong, He said we’re forgiven, so long as we confess our sins. Only Jesus can forgive like that.

I don’t know about you but if it were up to me alone, Lord knows I would never forgive anyone. I would probably be friendless and without a family because I’ve had to forgive everyone around me at least more than once. You can be sure that once you understand that you forgive people NOT FOR YOURSELF nor for the other person, but for God, it will become a lot easier.

The reason we do not forgive for ourselves, like the world says we should, is because we’re selfish and emotional being and we would pick and choose who we forgive based on the degree of the hurt they caused us. If Jesus were to do that to us, we’d all be found guilty because no one has offended God to a small degree, we’ve all done so at a big degree!

We can’t forgive on account of the offender either because we would think that, “they do not deserve it”. If Jesus had that attitude towards us, we would again all be found guilty, because no one deserves forgiveness from the Lord, which is what makes Him Sovereign. So in the end, we forgive because Jesus has forgiven us also.

Incomplete forgiveness

You know how sometimes you think you’ve forgiven someone, but then you see them on Facebook and Instagram all happy and all and you’re kind of bitter or jealous and remember all of a sudden whatever they did or said to offend you? Whenever that happens it means you’re most likely holding on to a grudge because you did not completely forgive. However, when the Lord is the reason why you’ve forgiven, you’ll remember that, “hey this person hurt me, but because the Lord still loves me for doing wrong, I also have nothing but love for this person”. Whenever you feel you still have a grudge against someone, simply go to Christ and ask Him for grace to help you forgive.

Why is forgiveness important

You cannot expect this year to be better than last year, only because you’ve cut off the people or the thing that were the source of your hurt. You need to forgive, that’s the only way you will truly be free from the hurt! There will be some cases where, even after you’ve forgiven, you need to let go of the person. It’s true, remove all the toxic from your life if you feel led to but there’s absolutely no way around forgiveness.

The reason it is so important to forgive, and you will hear it from those who struggled with unforgiveness for a long time tell you as well, it is because it blocks you from a lot of blessings. Being held up by the past, limits you from growing and moving forward. Logically, if you are stuck standing in one doorway, how will you be able to open another door? This is what I am trying to convey to you guys. As young people we deal with a lot of unforgiveness, we can’t let the enemy use that as a blessing snatcher! (Ephesians 4:26–27) If you really want to start on a clean slate this year, this is the only way to do it: TO LET GO OF THE PAST, by forgiving!

What the Lord says about forgiveness

You must not forget either that it is a command from the Lord that we ought to forgive our neighbour for us to also be forgiven by our father (Matthew 6:14–15). Do not fool yourself today in thinking you do not need the Lords forgiveness. The Lord only listens to the prayers of the righteous! (Proverbs 15:29) So the day you will need Jesus, do not cry if He does not answer you, you know what He demands of you.

Whenever you refuse to forgive someone, after all that the Lord has gone through to forgive you of your sins, He considers that hypocrisy and that’s what the Lord was trying to prove in His parable of the Master and his servant (Matthew 18:23–35). God is a fair God, He’s clear when it comes to forgiveness and it’s a fair deal.

If you’re dealing with unforgiveness, confess it to God, not tomorrow or next week but today! The longer you keep waiting to forgive, the more dangerous and harder it gets. Because at that point, you are drifting so far away from God, but God being so merciful, if you only call on His name and confess your sins and forgive the sins of others, He will come find you and bring you near to Him.

Many of us are trying to make things different this year to obtain new results, but one of the main ways to do it is to make sure you’ve let go of yesterday. Every day of 2015, please ask yourself if you’ve forgiven and let go of the hurts and bitterness of yesterday. Do not wait until watch night service of 2016 to forgive everyone on your list. Go before God daily to ask Him for grace and love to help you forgive your offenders. He knows exactly how you feel! He has had to forgive some pretty horrible people, YOU INCLUDED. He bore the sins of the entire world, He has enough love for it and He has given you that love for you to also give to your offenders.

You will not have a bright year if you are still hung up on some unresolved problems. I’m not suggesting you confront the people who hurt you or revisit the issue, just simply have a conversation with God to ask Him to help you release whoever or whatever has hurt you so you may move on peacefully.

Happy New Year 2015, from ANY Ottawa

By: Vessel Speaker

Matthew 18:23–35 (NIV)

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Mark 11:25 (NIV)

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Originally published at anyottawa.blogspot.ca.