There are lessons of forgiveness everywhere we look. None of us are immune and when we start to recognize this; the soften heart can seep through.Forgiveness changes lives. Such is the case perhaps of Kelsey Grammar who’s sister was killed decades ago.
It’s a story that in today’s society is more common. A family member is tragically murdered and the family is left living in anguish; some more than others. In the case of Kelsey Grammar his sister was murdered 40 years ago. The murdered still sits in jail; hoping for a second chance. He is hoping for forgiveness and freedom.
What is curious about the story really is that while Kelsey states, ‘”I accept your apology. I forgive you,” Grammer told Glenn, according to the newspaper. “However, I cannot give your release my endorsement. To give that a blessing would be a betrayal of my sister’s life.” To some it may reflect he does not believe in second chances.
Isn’t forgiveness all about second chances? Third chances? What do you think?
Do you think that a man who has served 40 years in prison is deserving of being released? Do you think that whether he sits in prison or is free changes the fact of his actions all those decades ago? Is freedom forgiveness and forgiveness freedom?
The murderer said, “I thought I would die. I thought I would be killed…I think I deserve a second chance.”
Does he? Does he deserve a second chance?
Have you deserved a second chance for your mistakes? How about third or fourth? Or is it just based upon the mistake that people make that determines what they receive in forgiveness?
When we truly look at both the victim Kelsey and the murderer it can be questioned who is more free. See; whether or not Kelsey deems it appropriate for the murderer to get freedom doesn’t mean that through forgiveness he isn’t already free. When we grasp that; we can be free regardless of what side of the bars we are on.
I love the phrase ‘accident forgiveness.’ It’s all over the television and of course applies to those unwanted car accidents people find themselves in. But does accident forgiveness apply to other areas of life? One would think that ‘yes’ it does; but does it?
The whole concept of accident forgiveness is quite fascinating really. Isn’t most of what we need forgiveness for an accident of some sort? You may want to argue that people really do know what they are doing; although I challenge that. It was Jesus dying on the cross that said ‘Forgive them father for they know not what they’ve done.’ Sometimes we just give people too much credit and then wonder why the results are the way they are.
Perhaps it really is true that accident forgiveness is needed more often than we think; especially if you have never been in a car accident. I remember years ago preparing to go through the Holland Tunnel in Jersey and dropping the change before handing it to the clerk. I was absolutely mortified and as I kept apologizing my friend simply said, ‘no need to apologize’ and I couldn’t figure out he was so calm when I was freaking out! While a simple example it’s one that truly gave me perspective about how dysfunctional my childhood really was; but more importantly how many examples we can all come up with to demonstrate just how much we need forgiveness for our accidents on a daily basis.
What accidents have you witnessed daily? What acts of ignorance do you need forgiveness for? I have to admit that in my life I witness many accidents of those around me that I need to always be forgiving of. It’s of course a challenge as I am no different than you dear reader. I go through the same challenges of forgiveness as you. I have to constantly remind myself that forgiveness is a process and that as much as I need it for my accidents I need to also give. Who knew that accidents and forgiveness what such a give and take!?
As you go about today; celebrate the accidents for they are opportunities. They are opportunities to extend grace. They are opportunities to extend mercy. They are opportunities to demonstrate forgiveness. And isn’t that what we all truly need to give an receive?
The past is gone. It’s passed. Whether it’s five minutes ago, five days ago, five weeks or months or years ago; the past is gone. You can either be thankful or remorseful; but whatever you are about it does not change the fact that it is gone. It is time to forgive it or yourself for continuing to allow it to become your present and the future you live.
You see; we all have a past. There are many things about the past that change our lives and the changes that we allow those things to make is up to each of us. What are you doing with your past? What seriously are you doing with it? It requires an introspective look because forgiveness of it is required for freedom in future. The last thing you want to ever do is allow something from times ago to become what you see and live now.
If you are still looking at your life through the rear view mirror ask yourself why. What is it about your past that you think will bring you what you are truly seeking? What can it possibly bring? It can’t bring back that skinny figure. Nope. It can’t bring back the popularity you once had. It can’t bring back those who have passed on. It can’t bring back what once was. It just can’t.
What the past can bring if you let it is unforgiveness, bitterness, bad memories, judgment, shame, guilt, sadness, fear of success and failure; and a life you don’t want. If you don’t lay it down it will become and so will you; something that you don’t want to ever become. It will consume you if you are not walking toward your future free of the disease of unforgiveness.
How do I know? Personal experience. I was the kid who looked like a boy until 10th grade. I was the kid with the weight problem; I couldn’t gain it. I was the kid beat up by my adoptive parents and then was then bullied in school. I was the homeless kid at age 15 who was called a band fag because I played clarinet. I was the smart geeky kid who wasn’t popular. I was the hurt one who only knew how to carry that and that my friends; is what I did. And that is how I know the consequences.
I’ve learned many more lessons that I care to admit and I share them with you so that you can get around the mountain in less than 40 years. If I can help you at any moment live in freedom of forgiveness my days work is finished. How am I doing? Are you there yet? Just know that forgiveness is there. It’s for you. Your future is waiting. Forgive the past and run; don’t walk to the glorious future waiting to hug you!
Most people don’t pay much attention to unforgiveness; not in the church or out. It’s mentioned here and there but it’s not the main course; nope not unforgiveness. Yet it’s a bigger worldwide killer than any other disease on the planet. Unforgiveness steals your joy and life in ways you can’t imagine.
Unforgiveness keeps you impatient. Most unforgiving people are impatient. They just are. They want everything done at the time they want, in the way they want; and of course ‘now’. There is no ability to see any other perspective because well; there isn’t one. It is only one person’s timeline of people not doing what they need to for that one person who just proves continuously to have no tolerance for others. There is no joy in impatience for the unforgiver or those around the unforgiver. Now of course it’s not to say all patient people are forgivers; but those who are impatient typically aren’t as forgiving and have no joy.
Unforgiveness keeps you self- focused. It gets tiring because focused on self all the time. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Those who are unforgiving are self-focused for a variety of reasons and through that; there cannot be any joy. When you get tired of yourself; where else is there to focus? Yes everyone alive has been hurt and experienced pain but it’s only when we forgive that we are able to see life from the perspective of the person that we believe hurt us. In the case of my biological mother; I hated her for most of my life because she abandoned. After we met I learned that she didn’t show up to our final parental meeting because the case worker gave her an ultimatum: sell me to him for 10k or never see your daughter again. Which would you choose? She said no, he changed our appointment and that was it! It was later learned he was buying and selling babies on the Canadian black market. When we are self focused and unforgiving we miss out on seeing and learning from others the real truth and it can cost us. It stole my joy for decades.
Unforgiveness keeps you isolated. Unforgiving people tend to be bitter, resentful; and a few other things too. It’s hard to be around those who complain, are negative and flat out miserable. That’s what unforgiveness does! It keeps you where you are which is living in the past. Those harboring unforgiveness will find themselves isolated because people living and experiencing life are filled with joy and your unforgiveness will keep you isolated from all the good things because good people know better than to surround themselves with negative nonsense.
Unforgiveness will wreck havoc on your life if you are not careful. With over 30 symptoms it creeps in unknowingly because it’s sly. Most people don’t study unforgiveness on their own and they just believe that lip service works; when in reality they still have all the symptoms. I’ve been there; I’ve seen all too often. If you find that on this day you have no joy, peace, or excitement in your life just ask yourself who you need to forgive. And then go get your joy back!
Life is hard. People cheat, lie and steal; all when you least expect it. Unforgiveness creeps in without even a scent. Next thing you know; your unforgiving life has caught up with you.
Three ways that unforgiveness separates you are quite simple really.
1) Unforgiveness keeps you living as a victim. Everyone has experienced pain, loss, frustration, theft, lies; so what makes you any different than the rest of us? The longer you keep portraying yourself as a victim the longer you are going to stay stuck in a lifestyle that breeds loneliness, bitterness; and all of the rest of the cousins.
2) Unforgiveness keeps you focused on yourself. Unforgiveness is a trap. Those who are unforgiving focus on themselves and the pain that they are still reeling from, haven’t gotten over; and are yet to want to release. Sure it’s hard in a a narcissistic society that we live in; but getting over self is the most wonderful and freeing thing you can do! There are people that need and if you are too busy focused on you that means none of those people in need are being served.
3) Unforgiveness keeps you focused on your past. We all have a past. Unforgiveness keeps you focused there, living there; and wanting to build a future there. There is no future in focusing on the past. There just isn’t. The past has served the present for your future. Until you grasp this; you are dead in the mud!
Overall; it’s a mindset and a heart condition. I understand the process of forgiveness as my life to this point has been one big hurdle. Unforgiveness stole much from me and once that revelation hit; my life changed. I now have a relationship with my biological mother after 28 years, I have a wonderful life; and am even blessed with a weekly television show- all about forgiveness! (www.julieblair.com) It is wonderful to weigh less and see the future. It’s there for you too- just make it a point to forgive and then of course-repeat. Daily.
It’s something written about and talked about everywhere. No I’m not talking about not sex; not today. I’m talking about money money money. The focus on money. The acquisition of money is everywhere. And in the end; people are broke. People are miserable.
A friend of mine shared with me a business conference where the attendees paid $500 for entrance to the event to listen to speakers who simply used their presentations to pitch them to think they needed to spend more money; because $500 wasn’t enough right? The money trap is everywhere. There is always someone somewhere wanting your money. Do you see it? Or do you just accept it’s life and give it freely?
If you are one who fell into the money trap it’s time to forgive. Forgive the system as it’s certainly set up for you to fail in the big scheme of things. Forgive yourself for falling into the money trap that you need a new ipod-every 6 months. Forgive yourself for falling into the trap that another new BMW lease will make you cool. Forgive yourself for trying to acquire wealth to impress women who still won’t be happy with all you have or have to offer. Forgive yourself for believing the lie that bigger breasts will get you a husband. Forgive the trap you fell into that got you to spend money you didn’t even need to in order to live a life you most likely aren’t loving!
Forgive yourself for falling into the trap of believing that the more money you have the more of a man or woman you will be. That is a lie! The money in your bank account does not make you who you are. You may disagree yet it is written that it’s harder for a rich man to get into heaven. Shock right? Money doesn’t make you what you are- it just makes you more of what you already are!
Look in the mirror and reflect on who you are, where you are; and where you are going. Are you truly willing to sacrifice family, time; and your life to get money or more of it? In reality it’s not the money that people want- it’s the idea of the power it will get them and in the end those with more money still have issues. Those with real wealth recognize that it isn’t about proving to others that they are worthy because they grasp that their value isn’t based upon dollar signs. Do you see this?
Our society is filled with advertisements all to suck what you have earned right from your wallet; and without you even seeing it. And if you aren’t seeing it you won’t see it because it’s all set up to make you not see your money leave. Start using cash and you will have more money. Studies reveal that those who use debit cards spend 20% more on a monthly basis. Don’t fall into the trap of money because in the end it will enslave you. If you are already enslaved; there is hope! Forgive it and yourself and get free. There is nothing more freeing than being free of money and all it’s trappings!