Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
white woman African American woman
(http://www.istockphoto.com)

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


Often we find ourselves still acting out of emotion or impulse—the old self—rather than from a renewed mind. When that's the case, we can have all the knowledge and intelligence in the world and still make wrong decisions that hurt others. As Romans 8:6 says, "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

All of us have said and done hurtful things we've later come to regret. We must recognize that other people do the same.

Does this mean we shouldn't hold people accountable for their wrongful actions? Not at all! When Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do," He wasn't saying, "Father, forgive them, because what they're doing is OK." He was saying, "God, don't hold this against them."

Jesus didn't deny that what they were doing was wrong; He simply forgave them. What a contrast to our typical reaction when someone does something wrong to us!

We tend to hold a grudge against them for life. "I will never trust him or her again," we say. Caught up in our suffering, we feel justified in our refusal to forgive the person who has caused us so much pain.

Women have to be particularly careful in this regard. Our nurturing nature can lead us to nurse, feed and give life to our emotions of hurt, anger and betrayal.

The longer we feed, the greater the bond; the greater the bond, the more difficult it is to sever the tie. When we constantly feed our negative emotions, we end up in bondage to them. They take control of us, and we begin to do and say hurtful things that rival the things our offenders have done and said to us.

If the crucifixion means anything, it means that through Jesus Christ we have been given another chance in life. Now, as Christians, it's our turn to extend the same "second chance" to others.

Keeping in mind our own need for forgiveness, we're called to live a lifestyle of forgiveness, praying the way Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:12: "Forgive us our debts [wrongdoings], as we forgive our debtors [wrongdoers]."

Tearing Down the Walls

Jesus forgave His wrongdoers because He knew they were imperfect. He also forgave them, I believe, because He knew that people need the kind of true fellowship that only forgiveness can bring—fellowship with God first and then with one another.

Jesus' crucifixion removed the rift that existed between God and all humankind. Now, as His followers, we are called to remove the rifts that exist in our various relationships. As 2 Corinthians 5:18 tells us, "God ... has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation."

Few feelings are more painful than the feeling of alienation from the people around us. We all need fellowship with other people. For this reason, the worst thing we can do when we've been mistreated is to hold a grudge or try to retaliate; these things only strain the relationship further and cause more alienation. We must forgive instead, taking that first step toward reconciling the relationship.

When Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them," He wasn't removing His wrongdoers' responsibility; He was removing their guilt. And by removing their guilt, He was tearing down the wall of defensiveness that alienated them—and us—from God.

That's what happens when we forgive people: They no longer feel the need to be on the defensive because we have sent the message that their actions are not our focus; rather, the relationship is what is important to us. In other words, we've let them know we're not willing to allow anything—not even their hurtful words or deeds—to separate us from the love we should have for one another.

When we don't forgive, however, we erect a wall that keeps us from reconciling and sharing love with the ones who've mistreated us. Forgiveness, on the other hand, opens the door for reconciliation and makes possible a new, lasting fellowship based on love.

Forgiveness brings with it a wonderful sense of freedom. When we forgive others, we're free from the anger, frustration and anxiety of holding a grudge or trying to get even. When others forgive us, we're free from the guilt and fear that makes us want to seclude ourselves and duck behind every wall.

Once we understand that no one is out to get us, that we don't have to watch our backs for fear that we're going to get stabbed, then we can begin to feel the peace and freedom necessary to open the way for true fellowship with others.

Forgiving Anyway 

But what if the people who mistreat us never admit their mistakes or ask for our forgiveness? Do we still have to forgive? The answer is yes.

If Jesus could find the strength to say, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do"; if He could find the mercy in the midst of a blood bath to forgive His transgressors, despite their lack of remorse; then certainly we in our smallness can forgive those who have treated us unfairly, whether they ask for it or not.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit