by Phyllis Ducey

Forgiveness - our last two CAST Team blog posts have been on it. Sarah started us off with relating what she has learned about forgiveness in her post: Friday Finds: True Forgiveness.

Sue moved us forward with her open sharing of her struggle to forgive in Sunday's Scripture - Continuing Forgiveness. Me? I am going to put in a few thoughts that God has taught me on the subject. It is interesting how God works. I have been blank all week as to what to write (those who read my posts on a regular basis know that happens periodically) but this time I did not even worry about it. Tonight I was randomly going through our CAST Team Etsy shops to see if something would inspire me when I saw a convo from Sue that she was featuring one of my items on her post (thanks Sue!). I read her post and admired her candor while she shared her struggles. However, I questioned whether she really has not forgiven as she implied: "but what about that piece of my heart that doesn't forgive?".

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Mark 11:25-26

Forgiveness is a command from the Lord, it is our choice to obey or not. It certainly is not a feeling. We do not have to expect all the pain, sadness and hurt to go away once we have forgiven. It is nice when it does but I truly think that happens less than not. So how would you know you have forgiven someone if all those feelings still harbor within you? By choosing to do it. Like so many things in our walk with the Lord, we need to make a choice... it is a choice of obedience. Once the choice is made our next steps is to look to God's Word to see how we can make it a part of who we are.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Rom 12:1-2
God asks us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices in addition He tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. When I have made the choice to forgive but have not felt like I was doing it, I have found it was because I was expecting some type of physical and mental relief... maybe a soft fussy feeling towards the person. For me that has not always happened nor does God state it will. So instead I work on transforming my mind.

The first part of transforming my mind is to trust in the Lord. Trust that He will honor my choice to forgive because I do it out of obedience to Him. When I seek a certain feeling I am not necessarily trusting God... I am trying to trust myself.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"
Prov 3:4
I go before the Lord and talk with Him: "I choose this but no matter how hard I try, I don't feel like it is happening. I am trusting that You will honor my obedience and give me the ability to make this happen." Then a rainbow appears, music plays and I feel love for the world... I only wish! No rainbows? I go to my next steps... what else can I do to renew my mind?
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Phil 4:8-9

Every time I start to think about the person(s) I try to focus on what God tells me to. I practice thinking of good things. I concentrate on what I have to be grateful for that day and the last several days. If life is not going well, I look for the little things... the beauty of a flower or someone's kind word or a smile. Because I have a mind that races, I often find that I get off the good stuff without even knowing it and I am back to the bad.... then I start all over again. While doing this I keep up with my daily reading of the Bible. Eventually, God seems to honor my tenacity and I begin moving forward. I will often secure some prayer support to help with it.

And... periodically it comes back to haunt me. I wonder if I ever forgave. If I did why would it be back? I believe it comes back at us because we are human and flawed. I believe we often have an enemy that would like us to feel as if we failed. In those cases, remember the victory not the failure. You got through 2 days without dwelling on your situation...YEAH! That is a 2 day victory! So you failed for a day... start all over and try next time for a 3 day victory (or 2 days and 2 hours).

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes"
Eph 6:10
One thing I did not mention was that I try my best to pray for the person. That is not always easy but I try. I remind myself that God loves them as much as He loves me and wishes them to draw near Him too.

Every now and then I think the Lord brings it back to us later so that we can process it better once our minds have had a rest from the intensity of the situation. And I think this could happen even years later. This has happened to me and I then converted it to prayer and asked the Lord what I should learn from it. Inevitably, if I am open to Him, I learn something new about myself. What can I learn to continue to help me deal with the residual pain or changes that happened in my life from the person who hurt me. And sometimes, I honestly have to say that I learn about some flaws I had during that time which I was blinded to then.

We are not capable of fully forgiving sometimes but God is and will give us the grace to be faithful and obedient. What a wonderful comfort it is to know I do not have to go it alone!

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Cor 12:9


Here are some great CAST Team shops with awesome items.

Silver weave necklace by forkaren

Little lamb goat milk glycerin soap
by saintlysoaps

by hillcrestcottage

Journal and bookmark by prayernotesbycynthia

by sarahstreasurebox

Note card

Rom 12:1 card by AlatheaPapergoods

Comments (8)

On September 12, 2010 at 11:10 PM , pfd said...

I am having problems getting my convos to go through. I apologize if you find yourself featured and I did not get to notify you first! Thanks for taking the time to read. I pray God will bless you!

On September 13, 2010 at 5:05 AM , Julie Riisnaes said...

Really helpful - thank you for sharing

On September 13, 2010 at 7:03 AM , Anonymous said...

Great thoughts on forgiveness!
Christie (luvncrafts)

On September 13, 2010 at 9:20 AM , ZudaGay said...


On September 13, 2010 at 9:21 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Amazing how God works! What a great theme you ladies have brought to us with your posts on forgiveness this past week. I love to see how that fellowship happens even though you are all so far apart in distance. Thanks for being servants of God.

On September 13, 2010 at 1:57 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

Thank you for this post Phyllis.
I have read it 3 times so far and will keep reading it.
Obedience is the key for me.


On September 13, 2010 at 9:43 PM , Lizzi said...

Right on this earlier and was again thinking of my comment, but didn't leave it lol. Sooo I'm back. Good job as usual!

On September 22, 2010 at 11:19 AM , Anonymous said...

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