35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
After sharing the parable of the unforgiving servant which was a response to Peters question about how many times he should forgive his brother, Jesus sums it up by saying that we must forgive from the heart. This tells me that you can have a form of forgiveness that is not from the heart and that in Gods sight is not forgiveness.
Unforgiveness which leads to bitterness, hurt and hatred affects the heart of the one carrying the offense. No wonder the bible tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence for from it flows the issues of life. When you have a wounded heart then you will live and project a wounded life. Many times, we forgive from the head and assume that we have forgiven from the heart. To forgive from the head means that you still carry the hurt and pain in your heart and every time the issue is brought up then you hurt again and again and you wonder why you cannot forgive.
Forgive is a financial term and it means to forgive a debt. This means that we cannot forgive until we acknowledge what the debt is. It gets mucky because there are a lot of emotions attached to it and sometimes because the emotions are so heavy, we do not know how to deal with it.
To forgive from the heart means we have to look at the event and the individual separately. We have to acknowledge the pain and be honest with God about it and about the emotions and thoughts we have. These are legit and we have to allow God to speak into them.
Forgiveness from the head can be instant and we sometimes use it as a coping mechanism. We must start there but we must not remain there, we have to allow the process to continue so that it gets to the heart and we find closure and healing. Forgiving from the heart is a process because you must acknowledge the pain and the hurt, you must define the debt owed to you by the actions of the individual who offended you and then you must make a deliberate choice to let then off the hook, forgive them and open up your heart to allow God to deal with the pain emotions hurt and disappointment you acknowledge that you feel. Only God can bring about that healing and release.
Have you been forgiving from the head or from the heart?
When you are the offender, are you quick to ask for forgiveness or do you always have an excuse as to why you did what you did?
Forgiveness is good heart hygiene, how healthy is your heart?