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Forgiveness Fitness

The intensity of any work depends on how much weight you have to lose.  If you have a few pre-party pounds to drop to get in that ridiculously sexy little black dress you bought, a detox, some cutting back and a 10-minute bump up in your work-out routine will do you just right.  BUT…

If you have like 30, 40, 50, 100 pounds to get off, that’s going to take time and intensity.  (WARNING–CLICHE), No pain.  No gain.

I’ve learned to think about forgiveness in this way.  The intensity of the offense, usually dictates the time and process for forgiveness.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying to deliberately take longer to forgive, if the offender has done the most!  The decision to forgive should be swift; however, the PROCESS of forgiveness is a whole ‘notha animal.

When first asked the question of how to forgive, I can truly say, I didn’t have an answer.  Immediately though, because the ministry was needed so suddenly, God gave me the perfect example of how the process of forgiveness should go.  True forgiveness is like a good work out.

When I make up my mind to work out to drop the extra weight, I know how I will approach it.  Once the decision is made, I go hard!  I overdo it. My body has a hard time catching up.  In an effort to outdo my husband on a fitness challenge a couple of years ago, I worked so hard in one session, I threw up all over the place.  The struggle, even then, was real.  To follow that intense work out was about three days of aching and soreness in my abdomen, my thighs, my legs, my arms.  I wanted to stop–take the path of least resistance, but I soon learned that to stop because of the pain doesn’t help the pain.  It worsens the pain.  It makes you stiff.  The best way to work out the after aches of such intensity is to keep working out.

You know where this is going, right?

So it is with forgiveness, especially when the offense is deep-seated and weighty.  Especially when it has packed so many grudge pounds onto your heart, you can’t breathe, spiritually.  You have to work it out.  And when you work it out, you will feel the pain, the soreness, the aches of your decision to forgive.  But you must go through the process.  You have to continue to work out your forgiveness.  You must really act like you forgive the person, even when it hurts.  You shouldn’t treat them badly.  You shouldn’t roll your eyes.  You shouldn’t sneer, snarl, wince or growl when they cross your path.

Turn the tables for a minute.  When you know you’ve done someone wrong.  When you KNOW you’re wrong, and that person forgives you, how do you want to be treated, moving forward?  Do you want to be reminded of your trespass with every glance, blink and gaze?  Do you want them to snatch from you when you extend your hand to give?  Do you want to be ignored.  HELL NO!  If they said they forgave you, you expect to be treated as if you’re forgiven.  Better yet, when you’re forgiven by God through Christ, the slate is clean.  Yes, it grieves God.  Yes it hurts Jesus when you trespass, and yet, here you are, thriving on sparkling new mercies at the dawn of every single day..

It’s no different with you.  After you make the decision to lose the weight of unforgiveness, just know your workout will not yield a pain free process.  Just know the first day may be okay, but day 2, 3, 4 may be a little more intense.  Day 5 comes and the soreness dissipates–some, because you continued to workout your forgiveness by relating to the offender with a forgiving heart.  The days ahead get much easier, as you become accustomed to your new forgiveness behaviors.

Finally, you’ll look in the mirror and see yourself differently.  The weight and pain of unforgiveness yields itself over to a Godly glow.  Who’s that lady?, you’ll ask yourself.  You’ll see your soul toned up for the next challenge that awaits you on your journey, and because you’ve worked out so hard, so long, so diligently and so faithfully, the next offense won’t knock you off your feet as this one did.  You’re stronger, now.  The exercise of forgiveness won’t have to be so intense next time.  Your heart is conditioned to work through the pain.

So, get on the forgiveness treadmill. Load up on the forgiveness cardio. Feed your spirit the lean and replenishing food of the Word.  And keep yourself hydrated with the living water of Christ.  I won’t say it will always be easy, but the pleasure of a light spirit is so worth the pain of the forgiving process.

Working it out,

DiAnne Malone

 

 

Published inForgiveness FridaysHer IssuesHer LightTriple F's Blogs

5 Comments

  1. I like the “turn tables” idea. We often want from others what we are not willing to give. There’s this little voice inside of our heads that often make us exempt from holding ourselves accountable. I had a really bad wait-for-the-book- to -come- out situation that lasted three years at the hands of fellow Christians. It was not just me but anyone who crossed the particular group’s path. One thing that helped me not hold on to so much anger was when I went to the Lord railing accusations about what they did to all of us, the Lord spoke quietly and said, “Can you find those things in YOU?” WHOA! Another thing was I had to examine my own actions and take some responsibility for how I was perceived by my accusers. I also had to ask if my emotions and perseverating when I should have just left it alone in my mind caused me to exaggerate some of the circumstances that precipitated some of the awful events. That was hard to accept as well because I wanted to be the victim. Completely and totally. On a final note, you mentioned a key word; PROCESS. It takes time to forgive, it takes time to regain trust, and it takes time to just grow up period. The more I learn, the more I realize how much further I have to go. It’s humbling. Anyway, sorry so long!

  2. Amen! Forgiveness is a process. If you’re needing forgiveness in your marriage, this can be a healing process as well as it builds intimacy as you and your spouse grow closer after each process knowing that you went through this trial together.

  3. Ladies, thank so much for your responses. I just read over this and the words “hell no” were staring at me. So much for proofreading; that’s what the topic of Forgiveness can do to a sister. Nikkele, your personal testimony was so timely and confirmed emphatically that I completely disobeyed the Holy Spirit when he showed me you as a guest blogger for this very subject! I said, “yes Lord” and then got caught up with life and a few things that don’t matter looking back. So I’m exercising my second chance for obedience, Nik. I want the readers to hear about forgiveness from you! So whenever you’re ready, hit me up with that excellent intellectual spirit you show case on your spot.

  4. Okay, you got it! It will be soon so that the topic will still be fresh in everyone’s mind.

  5. Ciera Shannon Ciera Shannon

    This is definitely an eye opener. I know how I want people to forgive me but I never really think about what it would take for me to forgive them. The process can be long and painful and I hate the idea of pain. This piece forces me to look at the situation from the inside . How would I feel if God treated me the way I treat people who have wronged me? I’m learning…

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