Parents are people. They make mistakes and it typically isn’t until a child is grown that the ways of parents are truly revealed for what they are. Forgiving parents when they don’t necessarily deserve it is hard. I know first hand exactly how difficult it is. Forgiveness of parents who don’t do right by their children is not an easy task. With this said; it is a requirement if one wants to live a life in freedom and obedience to Christ.
The latest situation of the impact of unforgiveness is that of bride to be Alexis who univited her parents to her wedding. The issue isn’t the uninviting someone to a wedding as I’m sure it happens on occasions more than we know. It isn’t about what occurred in the past that led up to it. It isn’t about judgment of the parents or even Alexis. No. This is much bigger than this. It is about a heart condition that kills many more than AIDS, Cancer; or any other disease combined that goes undetected or talked about. This is about unforgiveness that lays its foundation in a child that never leaves until dealt with. And this is where many adult children are today; living in and with the disease of unforgiveness.
How do I know? I was much like Alexis who suffered physical abuse and ran away several times as a youth. I suffered things as a child that no child should. I was abandoned by my biological mother left to a foster home; and my adoptive parents put me in a homeless shelter before I could drive. I know the pain of what parents can do to a child and I know the results of living with unforgiveness. I too know the outcome of living in forgiveness.
You see; we all have a choice. I held much anger toward the actions of my adoptive parents. I held them accountable in my adult years for the love that I so wanted as a child but never received. I carried it all with me along with the impact. I did it until I forgave. And that was decades later.
When I forgave my adoptive parents I learned something that most children never seem to learn. Parents are people. They make mistakes. They can only do what they know how to do. This does not mean it’s correct nor does it even mean that it is what the child even needs. But it is what they do. I learned this ‘after’ I forgave.
Many in the blogosphere are calling Alexis a hero among other accolades. Whatever you deem her is your business but what she is most is a child of parents who made mistakes. When we harbor bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness toward our parents for those mistakes; we are the ones who miss out on living our real futures. Our actions simply reveal it.
If you have been ever been hurt by your parents you are not alone. If you parents are narcissistic; don’t think they are the only ones. If your parents abused you physically, emotionally or sexually; you my dear friend are not alone. It happens much more than any of us realize but get this: until your heart changes nothing changes.
Forgiveness will change your life. Your future is not about what your parents did to you; unless you want to continue to live that lifestyle. Take it from me you don’t. It sucks the life out of you. Building a future on hate from what others have done is no way to build a life, a future; or marriage with future children involved.
On this day; forgive. Forgive your parents for not being what you expected them to be. Forgive your parents for the rejection, abandonment, neglect, badgering, bullying; hurting you physically, emotionally and sexually and all the other things that they did to you. Simply forgive them. It doesn’t matter if they knew what they were doing as it’s not about them. Not anymore; that is unless you wish to live as an unforgiver. It is about you and your future.
When you forgive you will live in a different way. When I forgave my adoptive mother it was the first time I ever heard an apology. She wrote that she never knew the impact of the pain she caused me. Many may question how one cannot think physical abuse hurts but that is irrelevant. She apologized and my only requirement was to forgive her. The rest is between her and God. That is it. And through that I see that parents are just parents. And they; like you I-need forgiveness.
When it comes to forgiveness and history; school textbooks have it wrong. Gone are the stories of valor and real history. Even in some texts the Holocaust has been removed because it’s considered offense and in it’s place are the likes of Miley Cyrus and Beyonce in institutions such as Rutgers. In such a time and place of this; we need to be reminded of heroes and not antics of those who enjoy the debauchery of their day all for self glorification. And today is the day for sharing forgiveness, history; and a hero not much talked about in today’s time. Wherever you are in the world you have your own hero. I’m sure those of you in Israel you won’t soon forget Har-Zion.
The story of Father Kapuan is one that every American should know. Emil Kapaun-priest, soldier and Korean War hero and one who exudes it. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award, and is considered by the Vatican for canonization as a saint. President Obama also recognized him for his service in 2013. (https://www.youtube.com/embed/AZuPrQBSDCs) Now one does not need a Pope or president to declare one as a servant of the Lord; although the man made recognition is not one that most receive or experience. It is wonderful that such accolades are bestowed upon someone who actually did something useful and for the advancement of his fellow man; and not just his own pocketbook at the cost of the consumer. We need to look at the character of such men and women today who stand up to be hero’s and not forget that being a real hero comes sacrifice. Father Kapaun time and time again sacrificed much; but for the gain much larger than even he may have recognized. The level of love and forgiveness in his heart is the purest example.
In reflection of the actions of this man he displayed love. He displayed courage. He displayed strength above all. In his sound mind he stood up to the enemy without fear. Psalm 118: 6 best references him: ‘The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’
It is not possible to walk in love while being unforgiving. Father Kapaun understood this. He did all he did walking in love and forgiveness. He saved lives. He lived his life walking as a soldier of war but also a soldier for God. What a man to be able to have lived doing both all the while leaving none behind; regardless of where or who they were.
So it is cause for question: Where are you today? What are you walking in? What choices are you making to better not only your life but of those around you? When you recognize what is in your heart you will see the power you have; to infect or impact.
Forgiveness and unforgiveness alike a revealed in every single one of us. There is no way to deny this. This man, this hero; Father Kapuan is a reflection of forgiveness and love. His life and story reveal it. What is yours? Is it what you want it to be? If not then make the change and make it so. Start with forgiveness so you can love- and then love some more. Be the hero that you were created to be!
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When it comes to forgiveness; there is much that people do not understand. The health benefits of forgiveness is just one area of forgiveness that changes people’s lives. What occurs internally is reflected externally; therefore dealing with the unforgiveness and its symptoms will not only change your health but your life too.
Some basic health benefits of forgiveness are:
1. Lower blood pressure. When a person lives in unforgiveness even the mention of the person or situation that brought the unforgiveness brings an increase in blood pressure. The very thought of what occurred in the past is where it begins and it’s rooted in still living in unforgiveness. When unforgiveness is dealt with to the full; any mention of a person or past situation will have no impact of change to blood pressure or emotional flare-up.
2. Less depression. Unforgiveness keeps people in a state of depression. Why? Because unforgiveness keeps people living and focusing on people and events of the past; all of which are not the most pleasing or happy. When time is given to negative and hurtful things in your mind it will then progress to behaviors, actions and attitudes toward it. If you want to get free from depression; forgive.
3. Less arthritis. Arthritis has been linked to unforgiveness. The spill over of bitterness is also deep rooted because bitterness is spiritual poison. When the joints and bones start rotting there is a clue that something spiritual is taking place. What you see coming out of a person is from within. Psalm 31:10 “For my life is spent with sorrow, my years with sighing. My strength fails because of my iniquity [guilt]. My bones are wasted away.”
Making forgiveness your lifestyle should be a priority; moreso than taking any medication that merely masks it. Forgiveness will change your life. For me the benefits are huge! My eye color and my voice changed once I dealt with all the unforgiveness that plagued my life for decades. My relationships have changed for the better as has my health. So I ask you: how is your health? If you want better health then start forgiving. Ask the Lord and Holy Spirit to reveal to you where that unforgiveness is; and to whom you need to forgive. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you are so above it- as that too will only lead you to your own path of destruction. Get forgiving and get the healing that will free you and your future!
Forgiveness and unforgiveness are a part of life. There is no doubt at some point in your life you will be faced with a decision: to forgive or not to forgive. And as such; regret will be a factor in that decision. Regret can serve as an impediment to the level of forgiveness a person is able to receive and give. Regret of not spending more time with your family, putting your career first; not making the big play; or simply not giving your all can wreck havoc on your life. You can overcome regret to receive forgiveness in full.
How does regret play a part in your life in forgiveness? 3 simple ways:
1. Regret keeps you suffering from past mistakes. 2 Corinthians 7:10 tells us, ‘For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.’ People make mistakes. We all do. There was a time in my life where I knew I was forgiven; yet when certain things were brought up I felt an instant level of regret. I knew I was moving forward and didn’t understand how if I were forgiven I will still suffering. See; I didn’t at the time know that regret was like the virus scan program operating in the background of my life. Even though I was drawn to my savior Jesus I did not know regret was still an issue. Once I understood the impact of it- my life changed! It felt like I instantly lost 20lbs. I didn’t need to suffer any longer. And neither do you. Forgiveness took it all away. What a revelation!
2. Regret keeps you focused on yourself. Similar to shame; regret keeps you focused on what you could or should have done. Yes; sure you know someone forgave you yet you haven’t fully received it. Why? Because your regret keeps you continuously thinking and reliving what you could or should have done or not done to change the situation that has already taken place. Your focus of thought impacts every area of your life- and those thoughts first impact you. When regret is the main focus your life will not be free. Isa 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” When you are focused on the mistakes you have made you are not 1) focused on the things above, 2) moving forward, 3) living in the forgiveness bestowed to you. Your focus is disallowing you to be. Your focus on you is your biggest problem. When I was faced with the mistakes of my past I knew I was forgiven; yet I was more distant from the Lord and couldn’t figure out why. Regret. Simple as that. My regret kept me focusing on me instead of the Lord and the blessing He gave me in the gift of forgiveness. Is it the same for you?
3. Regret disallows forgiveness to flow. Regret is an obstacle; a hindrance to the flow of forgiveness. It is like the dam that blocks the river waters. Forgiveness is there; but it can’t fully operate because the level of regret is too high. It doesn’t allow you to see what you have been given, that the mistakes of the past are not to be lived and relived. The past is gone; but a thought of yesterday. If you harbor it- it will hinder you and ultimately will kill you. If someone forgave you; why then would you allow regret to enter in and steal it? That is like leaving your door open for someone to rob you all the while paying for a wonderful insurance plan. And who does that?
It took me many years to realize that regret was in my way. Sure I knew forgiveness and its impact; but not much about the hindrance of regret. If you are struggling with regret of your past; whether it’s for cheating, having an abortion, drunk driving, bullying another person; or whatever single thing you have done I encourage you right now to let it go. You cannot change what you have done. You can’t. What you can do is forgive yourself and move on. Your life is too precious and your future is worth more than the regret of the mistakes you made that you have already been forgiven for. Don’t let it eat up years of your life like I did. It simply is not worth it.
Back in the day the role of the media was to report the news. Now in today’s world the media creates the news. They are the 4th branch of the government; and silenced for reporting what may not be in alignment with a current president. Does the media deserve forgiveness when not telling the truth to the public?
Should the media be granted grace and mercy for reporting untruths? Should the media be given a free pass for stirring the pot in racial riots, Benghazi; or the never ending stories about Kim K? Does the media just need to get a life?
The latest media situation or situation of untruth is regarding Brian Williams. He recently admitted on air about fabricating a story of personal heroics, claiming to have been aboard a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 when it was hit by enemy fire. Williams says, ‘“I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” Of course one may question how a mistake can be made in reporting that he was there when he wasn’t. And now he remembers the truth. He continues on to say in his apology: “On this broadcast last week in an effort to honor and thank a veteran who protected me and so many others after a ground-fire incident in the desert during the Iraq War invasion, I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago. It did not take long to hear from some brave men and women in the air crews who were also in that desert. I want to apologize.
“I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft. We all landed after the ground-fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert.
“This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran, and by extension, our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not. I hope they know they have my greatest respect and now my apology.”
The question is: does he deserve forgiveness? Did he just diminish what those military men and women were up against to make it all about him? Didn’t he know then that what was being delivered wasn’t the full truth? And wouldn’t you think that there should be an issue with that? But apparently not right? Or is that just the norm for the media?
So it begs the question: Does he deserve it for misrepresenting the news, the truth; and his position in it? Does he deserve to lie to the public and then years later apologize with no real consequence? Does the media in general? Should they be held to a higher standard than anyone else? Or are they just people who make mistakes?
In our ever so critical world people have become more skeptical; and probably rightfully so. The media has an agenda and while it should be to report the news; more often than not they are caught in influencing the news to something of a distortion. Should there be forgiveness for knowingly doing this? Again-you decide.
One may argue that the media and most of its main stream liberal bias is nothing new, that new casters lie all the time for their own benefit; and that it should be no surprise. Others may say that news is the news and if you follow it then you are just that stupid for believing it. Either way- they are responsible for what they speak are they not? Are you not?
Do you deserve forgiveness for inflammatory remarks you make? Or the slander that you may have sometime delivered to someone else? Of course right! Because you are you. But does someone in a position of delivering the news and truth to the public deserve it too? And should it just be so easily forgiven with no consequence?
If there were consequences of termination for every journalist or politician that spoke untruths; it may be that the government would not exist and there would be no one to report about it. We all would just have more time in our day with less to talk about; and perhaps have less forgiveness to give. But then again you decide. Forgive Brian Williams for lying or not?
The journey to a win or loss is based simply upon individual and collective decisions made along the way. The outcome reveals much and for those who win it is a celebration. For those that come up short; the pain is excruciating at minimal and can last a lifetime. One may ask those who have lost. It is something that most don’t ever recover from. When losing hurts; forgiveness heals. It is the medication that no drug can heal.
There is never anything that can replace the ‘what if’s’ that come along. ‘What if’ we scored earlier? ‘What if’ we did this or that? ‘What if’there was no interception? ‘What if’ we scored earlier and more often? One will never know. ‘What if’ only leads to regret and regret; leads to the downward spiral of self-loathing and wonderment of the past. And that can lead to death. (http://uanetwork.tv/uanon-demand/living-forgiveness-julie-blair/)
Winning and losing as a team means experiencing all things as a team. ‘Sure sure’ you may think it’s simple to say collectively for the team; however, each individual experiences wins and losses differently. And this; my dear friends, is where forgiveness comes in to play.
Forgiveness heals. Regardless of the situation forgiveness heals. Does it take time to get to a place of forgiveness? Absolutely! Each person is unique and processes life’s circumstances in his or her own manner at his or her own pace. None are the same.
There must be forgiveness at some point within a team for all the mistakes made because every team’s future wins or losses are dependent upon all the people involved. The future of each person and team is based upon it. When a person makes the choice to forgive teammates for not catching the ball, not throwing it correctly; not producing at an expected level healing can begin. When a person gets to the position of forgiving him or herself for living up to the same expectations healing can begin.
Healing through forgiveness is reconciling that which was done that had unwanted consequences. It is part of life. It is a process that for a full future is needed; is vital. It is the acceptance that mistakes are part of life and that people make them. None of us are immune. Not even you. We can’t take back any moment as they pass too quickly. This moment too is passing right before your eyes.
While the large majority of us do not know what it is like to lose a Superbowl; we can all relate to making mistakes that require forgiveness. We are all part of teams in life where the people in it have let us down and we too have let teammates down. It doesn’t matter if your team is a family unit, church group or sports team. It simply doesn’t. You are part of something with other people. And people make mistakes. That alone is the simple reason why forgiveness must reign.