Living on Purpose: Apologies are empty without forgiveness
Posted Aug. 23, 2021
By Dr. William Holland
We acknowledge God’s blessings in our own life as well as those around us. Of course, we have our share of problems and struggles, but for the most part, the Lord has provided for our basic needs, and to be honest, he has also given us a lot of luxuries. Our seasons of difficulty might be with a relationship, financial hardships, issues with our health, the loss of a loved one, or the occasional internal suffering associated with rejection, but God promises that he is with us in whatever we are going through.
In the hard times, we are tempted to deny the situation or hide from the agony, which we all know is like putting a band-aid on a broken arm. Discouragement is real and unfortunately, a lot of people live with a smile on the outside but are crying on the inside. There are several keys that can help us overcome discouragement and one of them is instead of asking God to change everyone’s view of us, let us pray that we might see ourselves the way he sees us. Examining our conscience involves analyzing what we believe and why. This will allow us to find the real cause of our disappointments and help us discover a deeper understanding of why we feel the way we do. When we comprehend how our personal trigger mechanisms and response buttons operate, this is a huge step toward knowing that the way we think controls our emotions.
Sometimes our rejection is associated with our gifts and talents and how we believe that no one cares about what we enjoy. When it comes to our spiritual well-being, an important key to consider is that whatever we do for God, it’s wise to be sure that God told us to do it. It’s much better to listen and follow God’s directions than to do something on our own and then ask him to bless it. The idea of patience is to prevent putting the cart before the horse. It’s easy to forget that obedience is up to us, but the results of our labors are up to him and are solely based on his intentions. If we really believe this, we would never be upset because we would know that everything is being accomplished according to his will. If we are dissatisfied with the results, then we are probably focusing on our own projections and expectations instead of trusting that God is guiding our life with his divine sovereignty. For example, by the mercy of God when we are allowed to create something and it’s used to help encourage one person, then maybe that was God’s original objective. In this light, just because we are not world-famous or making millions does not mean we have failed to be a success in God’s view. Being popular with the world has nothing to do with how much God loves you and is pleased with you.
Misery and sadness are many times caused when we assume something is one way when it’s actually something else. It’s not always true that others do not like us or respect us. We seldom consider that others might feel that we are angry and offended at them. When we surrender our pain and allow God to heal us, we can freely and sincerely forgive others. Sometimes we decide that someone does not deserve our forgiveness for what they have said or done. We feel justified in withholding forgiveness from them but in reality; we are only storing up more anger, bitterness, and sadness which keeps us in the bondage of misery. This can become an infection within our soul that can make us calloused and unable to see clearly. When we realize those around us are wounded and have a tendency to wound others, we will not see them as the enemy just because they disagree with us. We can begin to recognize that something in their past causes them to act out of their pain. This is why God encourages us to live as close to Him as we can. Christ is the healer of our hearts and our only hope of eternal salvation. Many times the focus is on apologies and this is good in order to help with restoration, but more importantly there must be forgiveness or we are still in bondage. Apologies are empty without forgiveness. It’s the enemy of our soul (not each other) who is trying to destroy our joy, peace, and relationships.
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