First, I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to the last 2 newsletters. I just pray that this meets your needs to be free. Now that you know what the goal is, let’s go step by step and work through it. This year is going to be a great year for the people of God, the true believers.
I was asking the Lord what the next step is to being free, and I was told, undoubtedly, it is forgiveness.
Then I was shown that a vision where I saw that God was PROACTIVE, Lucifer is both PROACTIVE and REACTIVE, while we are REACTIVE.
God is proactive.
Proactive means – tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events
We are reactive.
Reactive – tending to react in response to an agent or influence.
Reaction means – a reverse movement or tendency.
“What does all that mean?” I asked. And this is what I saw.
God creates solutions, is never reeled by any circumstance, and consciously, with forethought, moves in a situation from a calm, in control, free choice manner.
Lucifer was created proactive. Proactive is a very clear form of free will. Lucifer had free will as does every angel and human alike. But Lucifer sinned. I know I have done this so many times, but I need to once again dissect his sin.
Lucifer had everything. He was happy. He held the highest office of the Kingdom. There was, in effect, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel…and so on. Other than God, Lucifer was top dog. And then came the realization that here would be the Bride. That meant that it would now be God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the Bride, Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel…and so on. A demotion was in the air. Lucifer wanted to be the Bride. After all, was he not the closest in time and relationship to the Godhead? Did he not do everything that was asked of him? Did he not have authority in the Kingdom?
Lucifer was proactive in everything he did until he reacted to the news of the Bride – who by the way was not even created yet – and he created a reverse movement and tendency. He sinned. He firstly held took offense to the news feeling he was overlooked and wronged and then he became jealous. Through his reaction to the news, he reversed his direction. He moved away from God.
Lucifer’s first action was that he took offence. The archaic meaning of the word offense is injury, harm or hurt. With that offense blocking his way from following God, he turned the other way and moved away from God. It is interesting that the original meaning of the word sin before 900 was offense. And the current meaning of the verb sin means to offend against a principle or standard.
Lucifer went against the standard and basically went his own way. He changed direction.
Repentance consists of 3 Greek words. One of the Greek words is the word metanoia which is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised. It consists of a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness, an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ, an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God.
So then, if reaction to a circumstance or situation is a change of direction into sin, is it any surprise that repentance is a change of direction back again towards God?
Everything we do in our life is reactive. It was not always so. But let’s look for one moment at Eve…as I have done so many times before.
Eve and Adam were proactive when they were created. I believe that Eve took offense right from the moment Adam presented her with the rule – don’t touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…don’t even look at it less you die. If she did not take offense at this, what was she doing by the tree that fateful morning looking at the tree?
When I don’t want to look at something I will switch the channel, close the web page, leave the area, anything so that it I not before me. But there she was, standing around the tree and looking at it intently. The first offense opened the door for the second offense. Eve was offended and hurt that God was holding out on them. She could be as God and He was holding that little tidbit back from them. She could have been proactive and found a solution to the problem, like walking away, but she didn’t. She reacted and turned away from walking with God to go her own way which was actually the way paved before her by the serpent. She sinned. And from that moment on, we were all born with a reactive nature as part of our core nature.
The mechanics of this process is simple. Every moment of every day we come up against a circumstance or situation. There is a reason that a lifetime is divided into decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds. It is because each millisecond provides a separate and unique situation and circumstance. At the same time, every millisecond provides an opportunity we can exercise our proactive will and create a solution for. Past, present and future is a matter of moving milliseconds that pass through us, if we were standing still.
So, instead of looking at the big untouchable picture, we need to look at the detailed, minute picture. That is something handable, something we can do something about.
Alright, here is the picture. We are moving through time one step at a time, one millisecond at a time. We are minding or own business and we walk right into a circumstance or situation. It hits us like a wall. It could be a word someone said, a deed someone did (like cutting us off in traffic, eating the last oreo cookie, changing the channel with no regard to what I was watching, etc.), or something we read or saw or did ourselves. We have a millisecond response time because the next millisecond is under our foot. We choose to take offense. The very nanosecond we decide to take offense is the very moment that offense becomes unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is the very root of all sin.
Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as ‘to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt’.
“It is forbidden to be obdurate and not allow yourself to be appeased. On the contrary, one should be easily pacified and find it difficult to become angry. When asked by an offender for forgiveness, one should forgive with a sincere mind and a willing spirit. . . forgiveness is natural to the seed of Israel.” (Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 2:10)
“I know that there is no one so righteous that they have not wronged another, financially or physically, through deed or speech. This pains my heart within me, because wrongs between humans and their fellow are not atoned by Yom Kippur, until the wronged one is appeased. Because of this, my heart breaks within me, and my bones tremble; for even the day of death does not atone for such sins. Therefore I prostrate and beg before You, to have mercy on me, and grant me grace, compassion, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all people. For behold, I forgive with a final and resolved forgiveness anyone who has wronged me, whether in person or property, even if they slandered me, or spread falsehoods against me. So I release anyone who has injured me either in person or in property, or has committed any manner of sin that one may commit against another [except for legally enforceable business obligations, and except for someone who has deliberately harmed me with the thought ‘I can harm him because he will forgive me’]. Except for these two, I fully and finally forgive everyone; may no one be punished because of me. And just as I forgive everyone, so may You grant me grace in the eyes of others, that they too forgive me absolutely.” [emphasis added]
Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, summarized: “it is not that God forgives, while human beings do not. To the contrary, we believe that just as only God can forgive sins against God, so only human beings can forgive sins against human beings.”
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus repeatedly spoke of forgiveness, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (NIV) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV) “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 (NIV) “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” Luke 6:27-29 (NIV) “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (NIV) “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NIV)
Elsewhere, it is said, “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'” Matthew 18:21-22 (NAS)
Jesus asked for God’s forgiveness of those who crucified him. “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'” Luke 23: 34 (ESV)
In his time, Jesus created controversy among the Pharisees, when he told people their sins were forgiven. “The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?'” Luke 5:21
Mary Fairchhild said We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.
I believe God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive (our job), by faith, until the work of forgiveness (the Lord’s job), is done in our hearts.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (NLT)
Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.”
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (NIV)
This understanding also leads us to a simple psychological definition of forgiveness: Forgiveness is the refusal to hurt the one who hurt you.
The “refusal to hurt” can take on many meanings according to circumstances, and it encompasses everything from the refusal to “get even with” others, to the refusal to “get back at” others, to the refusal to prove to others—with arguments, protest, violence, or even self-sabotage—how wrong they are.
Well, first of all, now that you know how forgiveness and penance work together to make for reconciliation, you can understand that forgiveness is possible even without penance. So even though someone hurts you and refuses to apologize, and even if this means that the relationship cannot be repaired, you can still offer forgiveness—for the sake of your own mental health.
That’s because forgiveness by itself is still psychologically preferable to holding a grudge. Why? Because the bitterness of a grudge works like a mental poison that doesn’t hurt anyone but yourself. Seeking revenge or wishing harm to another will, at the minimum, deplete your strength and prevent your wounds from healing. In the worst case, the cold hunger for revenge will make you into a victimizer yourself. Lacking forgiveness, you and your victimizer will be locked together in the hell of eternal revenge.
Imagine the person who says, “I’m at peace with what happened. I’m OK with it. Actually, it doesn’t even bother me. But my life is still miserable. What do I do now?”
If you find yourself in this position, in effect saying, “No, it doesn’t bother me . . . but I’m still miserable,” it is a good psychological clue that there is still something missing. Usually, this means that you’re still denying your unconscious anger and resentment, so even though you think you’ve come to terms with what happened, there are still emotions about the event which you have pushed out of awareness. In fact, many persons can get caught up in this premature forgiveness as a way to avoid coping with all the unpleasant emotions they would rather not examine.
This can be extremely frustrating because unconscious resentments are essentially invisible to logic and reason. Because they represent things you would rather not see, they can be discovered only indirectly—such as when they continue to cause discomfort even though it seems that everything should be OK.
This is a common problem with persons caught up in unconscious anger at their parents; they will try to deny their unpleasant feelings by saying, “But my parents tried their best to be good parents. I have no right to be angry with them.”
The truth, however, is that even parents who do their best always cause some emotional hurt to their children, even if it’s unintentional. Well, even if your best friend steps on your foot, it still hurts, right? The therapeutic task is to admit all of your childhood hurt, not to blame your parents, but to allow the light of honesty to heal the wounds.
Ironically, then, in finally admitting all that anyone has done to hurt you, in recognizing what you are really feeling, and in then being able to forgive that person—of everything—you discover real love.
All of this shows that the popular advice to “forgive and forget” completely misses the point. Forgetting, in psychological language, is called repression. When something is repressed, it just lingers in the dark shadows of the unconscious, along with all the emotions associated with it. And as long as those emotions, such as anger, are brewing secretly in the unconscious, genuine forgiveness remains impossible.
This leads us to consider cases in which the damage is relational, not just material. Maybe someone accuses you of untrue things behind your back. Maybe your business partner steals from you. Maybe a manager fails to uphold a promise. Maybe your husband or your wife commits adultery.
In these cases involving a personal betrayal, keep in mind one important fact:
Forgiveness is not the same thing as forgetting.
To forgive is simply to stop wishing for revenge or to stop wanting to see the other person suffer in some way. But forgiveness is not blind. Because trust has been violated you cannot just forget what happened or else the same thing might happen again. There’s a saying that unless we remember history we will be condemned to repeat it. So let’s face it—even though you might forgive a person who has betrayed your trust, your trust in that person has been crushed.
Trust can be repaired only by time through a gradual process of rebuilding. You have to get to “know” the person all over again. The sad thing is that through what you learn you may have to accept the fact that the other person can never be trusted again. On the other hand, if the other person is truly repentant and wants to make a full confession and do penance, the desire to do so will be all that is necessary to nourish a new growth of trust between the two of you.
Truly, it can be hard to forgive if you dwell only on your own desire for satisfaction.
So remember that if anyone has ever hurt you, you don’t find forgiveness, you give it.
If you have ever hurt others, all you can do is feel sorrow for your behavior; in sorrow, you can apologize, and you can make amends, but whether or not others forgive you is their choice.
And if you have hurt yourself? Well, it’s a self-deception to believe that you can forgive yourself. Even though self-destructive and self-sabotaging behavior may seem to be anger at the self, at its core it is an expression of anger at someone else, because of what that person did to you or failed to do for you. It’s as if you amplify the effects of the original injury and throw your dysfunction back into the face of the one who hurt you, in an attempt to force him to see how much he hurt you. It may be unpleasant to admit it, but, in all truth, you use your disability unconsciously as a subtle form of revenge, which is itself a form of hate. For the original wound to heal, you must set aside your personal desire for satisfaction, and forgive, not yourself, but the person who hurt you in the first place.
“I have read all your pages. I am having trouble forgiving because my mother is denying that she abused all of us children and in fact some of my siblings are choosing to pretend it did not happen and sadly are repeating the emotional abuse with their own children. That is where I am at.”
Forgiveness is a gift you give to someone else; it’s an act of your own will. And as such your willingness to forgive your mother does not depend on whether or not your mother ever acknowledges the harm she caused you.
But even grasping this point intellectually leaves many persons stymied. “Then what am I supposed to do with my pain if I can’t get any satisfaction from the one who hurt me?” they ask.
The answer is purely emotional. Forgiveness comes from sorrow. Not sorrow for anything you have done, but sorrow for the very fact that everyone, including yourself, has the same ugly capacity to inflict harm on others, wittingly or unwittingly. Notice the words I just said: including yourself. This is where everyone gets stuck, even your siblings, because it’s easy enough to see that your mother was hurtful, but to admit that you have the same human capacity for hurt is just too distasteful. In fact, anyone who has been victimized has a human urge to receive compensation, and for you to admit that you and the victimizer are no different from each other—at the human level—is quite terrifying, for it jeopardizes some of that claim to compensation.
But still it’s true that on the basic human level you are no different than your mother. She abused you as an unconscious way to get revenge for all the pain inflicted on her as a child, and you refuse to forgive her as a way to get revenge for all the pain inflicted on you as a child. And the fact that your siblings are repeating the abuse only proves the point that they themselves are no different from your mother.
The truth of this, however, does not mean that your pain is not real; nor does it mean that your mother is not responsible for what she did.
But if you can realize that everything she did, although her personal responsibility, was ultimately caused by her own childhood wounds, then you can see yourself in her, and in your sorrow you can feel mercy for her. In forgiving her you ultimately feel mercy for yourself, and you free yourself of your greatest burden: hatred. And with that weight lifted, you have the satisfaction of discovering in yourself what you always wanted from your mother anyway: real love.