We are given the text John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whomsoever believes in him, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.”
Let’s look at this text closely. God has found Himself in love. The person God loves has been kidnapped. The kidnapper is demanding a ransom if God is to ever see His loved one again. God looks around heaven to find something that would meet the kidnapper’s demand. He finds nothing, instead he finds someone—His only begotten Son.
With a sharpened blade at the throat of the one He loves, the kidnapper dares God, “If you indeed love as much as you say you do, and you really want your kidnapped loved one back, kill your son, your only son; kill him now!
First Things First
Forgiveness clears the way:
Often times forgiveness gets misunderstood as letting other people off the hook, when in reality, forgiveness is taking yourself off the hook. Let me explain…
Unforgiveness requires two ingredients: Hurt and Blame. When you are filled with these two states of mind you are held captive, hooked into a negative state. Though your desire is to send that negative vibe in the direction of those who hurt you, that’s not what happens, though. That negativity sinks deeper and deeper into your psyche.
The negativity that you are holding onto will cause bitterness to set in, which will turn into physical disease. It is not worth it. It is not worth going through a physical and mental breakdown because you refuse to let it go. I know what I am talking about. As a result of unmanaged stress I lost my eyesight. Yes, I’m talking about complete blindness. It is not worth it.
Forgiveness is about clearing the way for a new future. It is about not holding on to dead things. It is giving yourself the freedom to let go of your own painful past. Forgiveness is not about what others must do, it is about you.
Listen to the audio “3Gs of Letting Go.” To help you get a better understanding of how to go through a process that will lead you to forgiving and letting go. Please have the courage to go through this process. You can’t build a new life by ignoring an old life. You can’t build something new on top of something old. Deconstruction must happen before construction begins. What negativity do you need to pull down? What old, painful feelings have you held onto for years? It is time to let it go. It is time to begin a new you.
After you have listened to 3Gs of Letting Go, identify the people you will forgive.
Forgiveness is not a natural or physical reality. Forgiveness is supernatural. It is beyond feelings. It is not about making yourself feel good. Forgiveness is the power to demonstrate how much your God loves you!!.
Forgiveness is about being so full of divine love that you have no more room for unforgiveness. Unforgiveness would be like having a foreign object in your spiritual body. The victim of unforgiveness is you, your faith, and your future. Is a painful past worth giving up your faith? Is betrayal worth surrendering your future? Well, I say, “No; Never!”
The obvious question is, then, how do you forgive?
The way to forgiveness is by connecting to your divine life source. The only real access to the divine source is the cross. It is the cross that reminds us that we all have fallen. No one, not even you, is without sin. While you may be feeling the consequences of someone else’s action, you too, have been and are in need of the grace and forgiveness of God.
I hesitate to write this because I am afraid you will mistakenly think I am talking about religion. I am not referring to religion.
Religion is a man made placebo, at times it is a poor imitation for a real experience of God. While I am not against religion, I understand its limitations. I come from a family of preachers. I know religion inside and out…and it does little to connect you to the real source of life: GOD.
Here is another good question, what do we do when we get to the cross? How does the cross help you deal with unspeakable pain? I mean, really, how? When you are in pain, you don’t have time for fairytales and games, you need something real.
IS THE CROSS A FEEL GOOD FAIRYTALE, OR IS IT REAL?
When I mention the cross I am not talking about the cross around your neck. You most likely wear that cross because it looks good. Gold, silver, and other precious metals make a nice cross to wear around your neck, but they won’t fit around a broken heart. Religion may stir your emotions, but it can’t reach the essence of your being. Religion dances with your mind, but leaves your spirit, the real you, to fend for itself in this dark world. Religion produces tradition, but the cross causes transformation.
The cross is a doorway into a new dimension. The cross is the breakthrough into a spiritual orbit that breaks the chains of a negative gravitational pull.
The cross, alone, is not what grants you access. You have to believe in the reality of the cross in order to reach this new dimension. This belief must go beyond simply believing in the story of the cross. You will not reach the source if you view it as simply a historical event, or folklore.
The cross is not IN history. The cross, the real cross is beyond space and time. The ancient text of the bible reveals a hint, like a treasure map to the source, “Christ was slain before the foundations of the world.” The historical cross is one thing, but the reality of the cross impacts the past, present, and the future.
The two ingredients for the cross are: LOVE and ACTION. Without these ingredients there is no cross, and thus there is no forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness, then there is no forgiveness for YOU. If there is no forgiveness for you, there is no forgiveness for anyone…we are, all of us, then stuck with the misery and weight of an unforgiving, dark world. Without forgiveness this is as good as it gets.
The bible also lets us know that there is none good but, God. From this we can deduce that, if there is goodness, there must be God-ness, and if then there is God-ness, there must be purpose. This means that there is a reason for everything. You see, without God we lose the real sense of meaning and purpose for our lives. Without God, our purpose would only be to serve ourselves. If we serve ourselves we have become our own gods.
If you are god you must take responsibility for, and claim understanding of the reason for every death, birth, and every event known and unknown to humankind. Can you own that responsibility? If you can, then you must take responsibility for everything that has ever happened to you, your parents, their parents, and their parents, and their grandparents…all the way back to the first human beings. Oh yeah, don’t forget about all of the other nonhuman things you created as well. That’s a lot of responsibility, and a whole lot of knowledge.
Okay, if you concede you are not God, then who is, and how do we connect? This takes us back to the cross. (Stay tuned for part 3!)