The other day I spoke with a friend who works to stay current. What I mean by "stay current" is forgive quickly when issues arise or offense comes. It is easy to let things build up, but if you stay current you deal with it as it comes.
She brought an issue up to her husband and normally this would result in yelling, heated emotions, the opposite of what she wanted: resolution and peace. However, this time, she had forgiven everything before going to speak to him and it went smoothly, better than expected.
Lay Aside Your Judgments
We approach the person hoping for a positive outcome: that they will see our side and understand our perspective. After we forgive, we are not coming to them accusing, angry, or ready to attack.
A judgment is a predetermination about a person. You've decided they are "______" and now you look for their behavior to reinforce what you already chose to believe about them. For example, you believe they are "selfish" or "attention seeking" and any and all of their behavior is categorized as such.
A judgment does not give them any room to grow or to change, to be something else. In your mind, they will always be "________" fill in the blank, whatever you decided.
They don't have to know you've forgiven them
Forgiveness isn’t dealing with someone else’s “badness” or “wrongness,” but with your perception of, and reaction to, a specific event or behavior. You are dealing with what is inside of you — letting the Lord cleanse and heal your hurt and judgments. It is not necessary to include them in this process of forgiveness.
When my friend went to speak with her husband, she did not begin by telling him ALL the things she had forgiven him for. She simply brought it to God and dealt with it and then went to talk to him about the other issue. He hadn't done any forgiveness on his part. However, the outcome was amazing! They had a normal discussion, no yelling or heated emotions.
Forgiveness improves your relationships even if you are the only one doing it.
Take the Class for Free!
Author: Valerie Bixler
Valerie's life mission is to know God and make him known. She and her husband minister in Colorado Springs.
Check out our Free