Forgiveness filled with hesitation and resistance

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By Dave Henning / March 27, 2021

“Even the most imperfect, messy forgiveness filled with hesitation and resistance is better than letting bitterness have its way with your heart.  The sum total of even the smallest inklings and considerations of forgiveness is always better than one moment of full-on bitterness.”- Lysa TerKeurst

In Chapter 14 (“Living the Practice of Forgiveness Every Day”), the final chapter of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, Lysa TerKeurst reaches an important conclusion.  She asserts that the goal of forgiveness = progress, not perfection.  Thus, the sign of progress never centers on these factors.  The ability for others to hurt, offend, or knock you off balance emotionally.  Rather, you move forward when you let the pain work for you.  Instead of against you.

Next, Lysa looks at what Jesus taught about forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer.  First, Lysa believes, Jesus taught us to live the message of forgiveness in our daily lives.  So, look at the word count of this teaching in the New International Version.   It adds up to forty-six of the ninety-four total words.  Hence, growing and receiving forgiveness takes up almost half the words.  Lysa adds:

“This grabs my attention and makes me want to lean in a little more to what Jesus wanted us to do on a daily basis besides just making our prayers about requesting help and provision from God.  The Lord’s Prayer reminds us what the human heart needs every day: we need God, we need to be forgiven, and we need to forgive.  Forgiveness is supposed to be as much a part of our daily lives as eating and sleeping.”

However, Lysa readily admits, she fails to incorporate forgiveness in her life on a daily, even weekly basis.  As a result, she sometimes experiences an heavy feeling inside that she’s unable to explain. And slips into relational funks during which she:

  • struggles with the seeing the best in people when their history begs her to keep expecting the worst
  • finds herself more likely to tolerate people rather than enjoy them
  • wants to prove her side of things sometimes more than she wants to improve that friendship

Today’s question: How often do you offer forgiveness filled with hesitation?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: Confession breaks the cycle of chaos”

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Dave Henning

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