Seeking True Forgiveness

Sunday, October 31st, 2021

Forgiveness is about choosing God over the need to be right.
Jenna Winston


Hi, I’m Jenna Winston with Heartscaping Ministries, and I want to talk to you today about what true forgiveness is, because the fact is, there’s forgiveness from our will, and then there’s forgiveness from our heart. Often we associate forgiveness with, they need to know how much they hurt me, they need to know how much they’re still affecting me. They need to know, I need them to acknowledge what has been taken from me. Um, I need them to be sorry. Um, or sometimes we believe the lie that if we forgive them, that we all of a sudden have to let them back in, or that they could hurt us again. But the fact is, is that saying the words,  “I forgive you,” doesn’t always bring a release, because often saying the words,”I choose to forgive,” is forgiving from the will because you’ve been taught it’s the right thing to do, because true forgiveness cancels the debt and, no, true forgiveness does not mean that you have to let people back in or, you know, allow people to hurt you over and over.

It’s where you learn how to have healthy boundaries instead. And I’ll get to that in a second. But what I want to talk to you about is, how many times have you felt like you’ve forgiven someone? I do sessions with people like, I’ve walked through this, I’ve forgiven him so many times over and over and over. I’m like, nope, you’ve said the words I forgive you, but you haven’t.  

Sometimes that heart needs to be heard. Sometimes being able to get to a place of where, sometimes we hold onto it until we feel like we’ve been completely justified. Some of us really want justice, but the fact is, is forgiveness isn’t about them. It’s about us. It’s about choosing God’s way over our anger. It’s about choosing God’s heart over our need for justice. It’s about choosing God over the need to be right. And so being able to say, Lord, wow, it’s like, I’ve been sucking on poison. I’m holding. They probably don’t even care. They probably aren’t even aware that I’m upset and hurt. Um, they probably never cared that they hurt me. But the fact is, is forgiveness is about you aligning your heart and your faith with the Father and saying, okay God, I choose to forgive and cancel the debt, even though I don’t understand. And I know for me, I thought that I’d forgiven so many people, but it truly was just forgiving because I was taught to forgive. 

But there was this moment where I got alone with the Lord. I was, I was in recovery at the time and laying in my bed at like four in the morning, and I had this conscious awareness of Lord, Wow. Actually, I’ve not really forgiven. I’ve not canceled the debt. Every time I talk to them or they do something, it brings it back up in my face. Nope. I forgave him. I forgave him and I’m like, Lord, what does it look like to forgive to the point where that doesn’t come up anymore? And it, you know, it took me probably a good 10, 15 minutes to get the first one out. But once I got the first one out, I could feel the tangible release of that forgiveness. And then I kept going and going and going. I’m pretty sure by the time I was done, I was forgiving the guy at Blockbuster for late fees. Like I wanted to forgive everybody. Then I got excited about it. But when somebody has really hurt you, has caused trauma and damage in your life, and you choose to forgive and release it. Healthy boundaries are so important. There’s a difference between self protection and healthy boundaries. Self protection means, I’m going to avoid you so that you can’t hurt me so that I can avoid all pain. Trusting the Lord and having a healthy boundaries, I actually love myself the way the Lord loves me, and I love myself enough that I’m just not okay with you treating me like that anymore. So often the actions are the same as far as not allowing someone into your space or your life, but the heart posture is different. One’s postured and protecting yourself to avoid pain, the other ones protecting or having a healthy boundary and loving yourself well, and just knowing that God is not okay with you being treated like that and trusting Him to protect you. So those kind of go together. 

So anyways, let me pray for you guys today. Jesus, I just thank you that you’re so intentional Lord, that you care about our release of forgiveness for us Lord, that You’ve made forgiveness so attainable and, and choosing to forgive and choosing to partner with You doesn’t make right what happened, but it does bring us closer to You. So Lord, I just pray that I always choose Your ways above my own, Your understanding above my own, Your forgiveness above my will. And I lay down my need to be right and justified, Lord. And I just give that to you in Jesus’ name, Amen.