The Religious Word for "letting go"
As I am learning to walk daily with the Lord, some days are easier than others. Some days I feel I know God in an experiential way. I am using Listening Prayer and I get a sense from the Lord of what I should do. But sometimes nothing is happening; I don’t hear God speaking to me. I wonder why I can’t hear Him; something is blocking me from hearing God. Have you ever felt this way?
I have recently learned that one of the secrets of getting unblocked is understanding forgiveness. The Lord’s Prayer helps guide me:
“and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us”
As I ask for forgiveness, God cancels my sin. In the Greek, forgiveness means to “cancel the effects of”. God wants to cancel all the effects of my sin. He cuts it away. By His example He wants me to forgive myself and others.
In Matt 18:21-22, Jesus teaches us how to forgive.
“Later Peter approached Jesus and said, ‘How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?.’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times!’
Forgiveness is an act of obedience, over and over until it’s gone. “Seventy times seven time!” I experience this on a daily basis as I receive forgiveness from God and learn to forgive myself. I am on this journey of life with Bill and daily I ask for patience, understanding and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the Great Exchange on the cross. It’s an opportunity to experience the cleansing power of God. Every time we forgive there is power that is released in the Kingdom of God. This is a process that takes time. I struggle when the negative feelings pop up again but then I remember to forgive again – seventy times seven.
Ask yourself: Am I holding unforgiveness for anyone? Take account of it and then let it go to Jesus! The one who forgives has the power to release the person into forgiveness because Christ forgave them.
I love Psalms 139: 23-24
“God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways-the path that brings me back to you.” (The Passion Translation) God know me and He knows by heart.
If I can know God through His Word, then I can get my identity from God. Then I can forgive those around me. Donna and Jamie Winship say: “Living in forgiveness is the oxygen we breathe in the Kingdom of God.” Forgive - over and over. Many times, until it is done.
I love reading Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations. On Dec. 18, 2020 he said, “Maybe that is why scholars have said two-thirds of the teaching of Jesus is, in one form or another, about forgiveness. Forgiveness is simply the religious word for letting go.” That is what I’m learning to do; forgive myself, forgive others, and let it go!
By Cindy Bartman