Read Time 8 Minutes
During the Christmas season, we are typically more sensitive to forgiveness than at any other time of year. This is a time when the world in which we live celebrates the birth of our Savior, Jesus. The difficult transition for me has been to honor the good Christmas brings while eliminating the bad. The uncontrolled spending, overindulging in food and drink and working yourself to the bone to create an atmosphere maintained for a very short period of time. I believe it is the unrealistic expectations and wrong motives which set many people up for suicides, depression and family problems that spiral out of control this time of year. We are attempting to create an atmosphere of Peace and Love which Yeshua taught, but without His Spirit, thus producing non-lasting and devastating results. Once the presents are opened and the decorations are down we revert to our “old selves” and the temporary joy, peace and good will are gone leaving us with only a hollow emptiness and a mound of debt. How do we remedy this?
Perhaps this year, while we’re in the midst of it and our hearts are temporarily opened to the love of Jesus, we could focus on Him and ask for His help to make the change permanent. We could ask Him to move the “feeling” of care for others to a “decision” to walk in His Way, to aid us in maintaining that spark of love and warmth in our hearts for those around us – family, friends and strangers. We tend to be nicer to others this time of year, perhaps we could ask Him to help us extend that behavior.
If we look at this time of year as a time to examine our hearts in the light of His expectations for our behavior, we will see where we’ve fallen short. With that awareness and an earnest desire to become more like the person He intended us to be, wouldn’t that be the greatest gift of all and the most lasting? If we were to offer up the selfishness, pride, stubbornness, manipulation and bullying we are all guilty of – what a great gift of honor it would be for our Savior, our families and ourselves. The only lasting gift is the gift of becoming more like the Son of God.
We certainly can’t do it on our own, but if we simply look up and cry from our heart, “Help Me, Jesus” you’d be amazed at how quickly and miraculously the change would come in our own conscience which is the voice of the Holy Spirit. We all have so much baggage from our past – scars of hurt, disappointment, lack, failures and deceit. We are so damaged, we feel the need for counseling and we are instructed this must be done by earthly professionals over an extended period of time – Not True. We have immediate access to The Great Counselor – The Comforter. This is a time of miracles, reach up, not out. Call to Him, ask Him to show Himself to you miraculously for He has encouraged us to test Him in these things.
Ask Him for the miracle of self-evaluation and correction performed by His Holy Spirit. You are then giving Him permission to identify to you alone, those things which are self-destructive, hurtful and not pleasing to Him or to ourselves. Ask Him to help you be a better person, to set aside the sins and habits dragging each of us down. He paid for every sin and every failing with His own blood, but we have to ask for His help. I know I am convicted to do this as a sacrificial offering to Him during the celebration of His Birth and I pray you will join me.
We always believe we have “forever” to search our hearts, to make peace with others and with our Creator. Your Forever and My Forever could be today, only God knows. This is the time of the year when we who have faith bring our offerings of love, peace, forgiveness and honor to Christ. But, he also tells us if we have anything against another, if there is unforgiveness in our hearts, we should put our offering aside and go immediately to that person and “make it right” or our offering is worthless in His eyes. We tend to skip over this part because its hard and we cling to our hurts as though they are a bandage, a salve or even an award to which we are entitled for what we’ve gone through. His Word doesn’t say to forgive those who deserve it, none of us deserve it, but to forgive . . . EVERYONE . . . no matter what!
In searching our hearts for those we need to forgive or “release” from the debt they justly owe, we actually enable our own release from the burden. We are the ones who are shackled by unforgiveness, not those who’ve committed the sin against us. If we fail to forgive others, we cannot be forgiven – it’s that simple. God doesn’t remove our Salvation because of unforgiveness, but does open the door for attacks from the enemy. Unforgiveness gives Satan a legal right of entry to sift and torment us because we are in disobedience. Some of us still hold unforgiveness against those who’ve already passed away – they have to be forgiven as well. When you forgive, you simply step aside and allow God to step in on your behalf.
When we forgive we do not excuse anyone for their actions and we certainly do not give permission for them to repeat or continue the behavior. In some cases, it is not necessary to re-establish relationship with that person, it may not even be advisable, only God can guide you in this. You are simply saying, “I know longer hold you accountable for the wrong done to me. It’s between you and God now.”
Forgiveness is a process, not an event. You may find you forgive one day and then find blame creeping back in. Don’t allow it, give it to Yeshua again and ask Him to help you no longer feel the affront. You are now in alliance with the only one who can help you to take control of the situation, for you and for the offender . . . JESUS CHRIST!
For each of you, I know that I have offended you at some time and in some way and perhaps more than once. I have failed to give you something you needed from me or I’ve offered something you did not want, I’ve been insensitive, selfish or uncaring. I am genuinely sorry and ask for your forgiveness. Be patient with me . . . God isn’t finished with me yet!
MY PRAYER TO THE FATHER
Father, I choose right now to forgive and release offenses – whether real or perceived – between my family, my friends and myself. I pray if there is something specific which I have said or done or failed to say or do which is causing a snare for any person You would bring it to my mind and understanding. I will go directly to the individual and seek reconciliation. I choose to make this Christmas season about you, Father and the gift You gave of Your Son. My increasing and growing relationship with You is the greatest gift I can give to those I love.
I pray specifically for each of my friends and family to experience a deeper, clearer relationship with You by the Holy Spirit. It is only in true relationship with you they can know lasting peace, love, prosperity of soul and eternal security.
I beseech you in the Name of Your Only Begotten Son, Jesus – who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, shed His Blood and died on a cross in payment for our sins and is coming again – our Savior and Lord. Amen
Blessings to You All and may the Joy of the Lord Be Upon You and Within You – Starting Now!
Thanks for taking time for me . . .
Sherry Driskell Griffin
P. S. If this was a Blessing to you . . . be a Blessing and pass it along!
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