Forgiveness for Real: Freedom and the Hole in Your Tent
There are many aspects to forgiveness.
First, I propose, forgiveness starts with identity. Stay with me, I promise, I will get to the person or persons who you can’t forgive.
I am going to start by saying something very important.
You are forgiven.
And no, I am not forgiving you for an offense.
I am telling you, you are forgiven.
Listen to it again, if you said yes to Jesus, it is already done.
And this is important friend. Because I am going to propose something that might ruffle your feathers.
Certainly, It ruffled mine.
You are forgiven.
And I, a believer in Jesus Christ, I am forgiven. This is basic Christianity. But here is where we, the brethren are missing out, and left in a continual battle for the freedom of obtaining basic accomplishments, left for us.
Ah yes, forgive others as you have been forgiven.
Why? Why is this the last word on the greatest feat left to us?
I will continue with what I propose will be the ruffling of feathers.
You are Christ, the greatest mystery, they hope of glory.
I will pause… while you straighten your feathers.
The greatest mystery to us, believers, God has chosen to make known, the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)
Christ in you. To live as Christ, and, with that power, the ability to endure anything, achieve everything, to live as Christ. (Phil 4:13.)
And yes, we say all the things. But I propose, we do not truly believe them. And this is step one in, two, possibly three, steps where I propose the key to true forgiveness.
We are His hands and feet. All of us together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Cor 12:27.) However, it is in this place of doubt, confusing the old and new covenants, where I focused on my sins and all the things I hate, where I was entirely separated from Him.
I should be…
You should be…
If only they…
A sin focused mentality, a wretch absorbed faith walk, negates the power of the greatest mystery, Christ in me.
If I do not accept my birthright, daughter, beloved, cherished, worth dying for… forgiven, I am walking in the cloak of the unforgiven. And I despise, Christ in me.
This is paramount. If I cannot accept the gift of forgiveness, and claim that I am righteous, forgiven, and redeemed, He died for not and He dwells, in a temple, I despise.
Prior to the work of the cross, we were bound by law. The new covenant was established by the brutal death, burial, and resurrection of this Christ. And now, the old is forgotten and the new is confused by what I should be doing, instead of what is now the truth of my identity.
I cannot make it any more perfect.
Still, I succumb to the world and the old way, and focus on that which can not be done by me, but instead is already done.
Forgive, as Christ forgave, starts right here, with accepting I am forgiven and Christ in me is the hope of glory. And this is a large task. So, at the bottom of this post you will find a free worksheet you can download to work through this on your own. But it leads me to the next step.
Let me interject, if you are wounded, if you were betrayed, violated, lied to, stolen from, lied about, assaulted, or any other form of hurt, I am not here to take that from you. Christ in you, that is the focus.
What I am going to say doesn’t change personal hurt. Nor, can you change that which has left me broken, desperate, and unable to forgive.
But, in a season of grave unforgiveness, I was afforded an insight. It has revolutionized how I forgive myself, and how I can now let go, and forgive others.
My husband and I were discussing a pressing issue. I professed my belief that we had not truly forgiven someone who had hurt us. Justin, my husband said, “we need to just forget it about it and move on.”
Yeah, well, duh.
The fact was, we didn’t know how to really do this.
Worn ragged from the talk, and the offense, Justin plopped down on the couch and sat on the remote. This act, turned on the television. I sat next to him, and we were quickly enthralled with the show that had mistakenly switched on.
It was a news show. The narrator recounted the horrific abduction of a little girl named Susie in 1973. The focus of the story was not an unsolved mystery. No, her case is closed, she is home with her Lord. Susie had been abducted by a stranger. The perpetrator cut a hole, in her vacationing family’s tent, in the middle of the night, and took her.
After a couple of weeks, of what was a desperate search, her family had to return from vacation, without her. They did not know if she was dead or alive. Her mother dealt with such extreme anguish and hatred, she could barely function.
And this, this is the story that helped me to finally see what it looks like to love and forgive as I have been loved and forgiven.
You see, unable to cope with the bile of her hatred, for the monster that stole her baby, Susie’s mother, Marietta, called out to God and begged Him to help her. God’s response was earth-shattering.
Pray for the man that took Susie.
Of course, Marietta was disturbed.
She inquired, “Pray for this monster?” How, how could she pray for the man who has all but destroyed her? And, furthermore, come to find out, destroyed her baby?
But the God who dwells in Marietta Jaeger showed her something. A prayer for this criminal was a prayer for Susie. If he was well, if he was warm, fed, clothed, and provided for, perhaps, things would be well for Susie.
Marietta expands, “If he had Susie, I wanted him to be good to her,” she says. “I tried to think positive thoughts for him. And they were simple unsophisticated things: Let the weather be good for whatever he’s doing today. If he’s traveling, may he not have car trouble.”
And this went on for a year.
One year, to the minute of Susie’s abduction, David Meirhoffer, called the Jaeger’s home phone.
Marietta kept David on the phone for more than an hour. She spoke to him with compassion and tenderness. Something she knows came from Christ in her. I am linking the rest of the story in this post. Should you take the time to read it, you will be undone by everything else Marietta was able to offer in the ways of forgiveness.
But for the sake of time and word count, this is what I must ask you, “who cut a hole in your tent?” And please know, I am not saying, “your hurt isn’t as bad as having a child stolen, raped, and murdered.” What I am saying, is Christ in you, the hope of glory is the key to forgiveness.
Forgive as Christ forgave you. Impossible.
Forgive as Christ in you forgives. Yep.
First, you must forgive yourself. Stop the sin focused walk of rote belief. The blood worked. You are forgiven and adored. Now, with a Christ-focused mentality, we are able to see and know, what He sees and knows.
Again, you must understand, I fully comprehend the gravity of this suggestion. I am not flippant in my proposal.
And I do not believe the enemy wants this knowledge for me, or for you.
For if we, the brethren, finally come to love and forgive ourselves first, we acknowledge Christ in us. When that happens, we are then free to love and forgive as Christ loves and forgives, At that point, this world, which God so loved, will become earth, as it is in heaven.
This is the second draft of this post.
This post, a post I have contemplated and researched for more than a year, disappeared. As I typed the last lines of the original, my computer shut down without warning. Despite a backup system and autosave, I was unable to retrieve it.
My daughter, her boyfriend, and the powers of the Microsoft help desk could not retrieve it. We tried everything. I took a bath. Then, I composed a text to my podcast co-host, Rebecca Huff. “I lost it all, there’s no way I can do it again. The post took me all day to write. I will just publish the podcast without a post…”
And then, Christ in me, the greatest mystery, the hope of glory, reminded me of these words, words I had longed to write.
Who cut a hole in your tent?
What did they take from you?
Did that loss, that betrayal, did it change the truth of who you are in Christ?
Does He still dwell in you?
How does a prayer for them, your enemy, effect that which would benefit those in a lesser state?
So, I sat down, and I wrote it again.
I do not pretend to be some mastermind or prophet. But I have come to this space for the better part of nearly four years. Some posts were nonsense. Some posts were read by 300 people, some by 3 million.
This one, I surrender. This is not a methodology derived from one woman’s ability to forgive, this is the result of Christ in you.
The hope of glory.
Jesus be all over you. Love, Jami
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
A printable download worksheet to reflect is available for free to build on the principals suggested in this post. You can access it by clicking here.
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