REAL ISSUE: “I forgave them but they still should do this for me.”
‘’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 forgive your trespasses.’ Mark 11:25,26
RESEARCH AND STUDY
What I’ve learned about forgiveness is that you can forgive the persons’ behavior; their performance, actions, and conduct but there’s much more to it. You see, though I’d forgiven a certain person to the point I could be around them, conversate, and even pray for them fervently; there was still some expectancy. Let me explain.
I’d forgiven them for their behavior, but I still expected them to acknowledge their failure. And until they did, I expected them to compensate me for not acknowledging that failure. But this is the thing. I wasn’t expecting monetary compensation per se, I just felt as if they SHOULD do what I wanted them to as an informal acknowledgment of their failure. Not that this person owes me but I expected that when I did ask for something, because of their past failures, they SHOULD give me what I ask for because technically I shouldn’t have to ask – they should just give it to me. Because by doing so they were informally acknowledging what they had yet to acknowledge. Yeah, I know – unforgiveness can be tricky and complex and this is what the Spirit of the Lord revealed to me.
That level of expectancy, what I felt like they SHOULD do, was cleverly disguised and it wasn’t until that person told me no that God identified that expectation as unforgiveness. This is the point I want you to remember. By placing that expectation on that person caused me to look to them to meet my needs and not to God and as a result, I truly had not forgiven them.
Forgiveness is more than forgiving someone for their actions, but letting go. Releasing them from any and all debt, any and all expectation – monetary or otherwise - they may have incurred. When a person is forgiven or found not guilty of a crime, that person is no longer charged with the offense. All charges have been forgiven. The same is true with forgiveness. I found that person no longer guilty but they still had some charges pending by way of my expectations.
I asked the Lord what I should do. He revealed to me to forgive them by faith and to ask Him to help me to forgive – to truly forgive and release them from all my expectations.
Release those people in your lives who have hurt you spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. Yes, I know you may have said the words ‘you forgive’ but check your heart and see if there is a level of expectation that you have for them. See if you find yourself thinking about what they SHOULD do for you.
Make a list of the people you thought you truly forgave. Afterwards, ask yourself do you have a level of expectancy for them. Write those expectations down and then go to God and ask Him to help you forgive them by faith. Ask Him to help you and trust me, He will. It’s not going to happen overnight but by acknowledging and asking for help, you’ve started the process.
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