Some of you have asked for my notes from my First Sunday Inspired Lesson for September.
Here you go. May they bless your life.
Forgiveness is letting go of the negative emotions within. And that's all-- nothing more.
Forgiveness had nothing to do with another person. It is wholly an act of self.
The cause of the negative emotions has nothing to do with you letting them go.
Sometimes some people mistakenly believe that to forgive a person who hurt you means to mitigate what they did wrong, to lessen or even eliminate the wrongness of the action. That's not what it does. Sometimes the Adversary tries to use our sense of rightness and justice against us to prevent us from practicing forgiveness.
"I forgive you," is not the same as "I accept what you did as okay," or "I absolve you." To forgive someone is not saying that you are acknowledging what happened between you is acceptable. What they did might be very wrong. The nature of the wrong will not change if you forgive them. What changes is you, and for the better.
Physical effects of unforgiveness: stress, anxiety, muscle tension, nail biting, the fidgets, inflammation, increased blood pressure, poor digestion, poor sleep patterns, headaches, disrupted diet, lack of focus, poor health.
Emotional effects include anger, depression, hopelessness, inability to think straight, defensiveness, argumentativeness, being easily offended, lack of patience, frustration, apathy, insensitivity and more. Perceptions may change, errors in judgement may be made. It creates 'baggage' that can hinder future experiences.
Release your feelings and be freed.
Once you have released the emotions, then you can proceed with a clear mind.
How you feel is a choice.
We experience Emotions because of our thoughts and experiences. Sometimes they come unbidden, and we may not realise we are experiencing a particular emotion at first. But once we do, we have a choice: continue experiencing that feeling, or change it.
To be a forgiver is to be able to let go of negative emotions. It takes practice. Sometimes to let go of a particular feeling permanently can take some time and vigilance. But it can be done. Get into the habit of undoing negative feelings as soon as you encounter them. Do not dwell on them, or let them grow like weeds. Experienced forgivers find it easier to forgive.
Do not let forgiveness interfere with justice. You can let go of the anger of someone breaking into your house, but you can still report it to the police. Let justice be fulfilled for justice's sake, and not out of a need for revenge. Getting even is not true justice.
Do not let your forgiveness depend on seeing justice served. Man's justice is imperfect, and mistakes will happen in its course.
Eventually, our Heavenly Father will sort out everything. But that will take time, and you will need patience.
Forgive 7 times 70 means that every time you feel hurt, let it go. Look upon it each time as an act of freedom.
Any time you have a negative emotion, release it, regardless of the cause.
But it also means that you should not put yourself in the way of repetitive pain. If you find that you are having to forgive for an offence that happens over and over and over, take some action to change the circumstances. If it's a case of self-forgiveness, change your pattern. If it's a case of forgiving someone else, take appropriate steps to change the situation.
Sometimes this can be as simple as having a productive talk with the person. But sometimes, if all other attempts at diplomacy fail, it might be that you need to distance yourself from this person.
Protect yourself. You are a precious soul that needs to return to Heavenly Father.