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    Enhance Your Inner Beauty With…Forgiveness

    Ladies, inner beauty radiates on the outside, not just in a person’s actions, but in his or her whole being. Granted, no matter how hard we try to be beautiful on the inside, we are not perfect. We are not Jesus. But we are to imitate Him, and in doing so, we should strive to be perfect. Yes, we will fall short, but remember the saying—if you aim for the moon, you’ll likely land on a star.

    This week’s inner beauty virtue is one that is not easy to attain. But it’s fundamental for the heart of all Christians. It is forgiveness.

    What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is when we put aside feelings of bitterness toward someone who hurt us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we have to let a person back into our lives, especially if he or she continues to hurt us physically or was emotionally abusive. Forgiveness means not holding bad feelings toward that person, but rather holding a feeling of love and extending that feeling of well-being to him or her.

     Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

     

    Consider practicing more forgiveness in the following areas of your life:

    1. At school. If you’ve been hurt by a friend, you need to extend forgiveness to that person, even if she doesn’t apologize for what she has done to you. You don’t have to forget the hurt, but you do need to let it go and not bring it up again.
    2. At home. It’s easy to hold grudges with family members and so much harder to let them go. Whether it’s your sibling or your parents, you really need to forgive the hurt. Many a strong relationship has been destroyed because of hurt and a desire not to forgive.

    “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” This is a quote by C. S. Lewis and pretty much sums up the reason why it’s so important for each of us as Christians to show forgiveness to everyone. Think about the worst types of sin. God will forgive all of them if asked. Even murder. God will forgive a murderer if he is truly sorry, asks sincerely for forgiveness and genuinely repents.

    If you’re finding it a struggle to be forgiving, then consider the following tips:

    1. Read your Bible. Jesus said we are to forgive if we want to be forgiven, and boy do we need forgiveness. Forgiveness is needed on both ends of the spectrum, but to forgive takes a lot of strength, and that’s why it sets true Christians apart.
    2. Practice it. From small transgressions to big ones, be quick in forgiving others. And think about those you’ve held grudges for. Find it in your heart to forgive and feel relief in letting the hurt go.
    3. Pray for it. You will need to pray regarding those hurts by those we love. God will give you the strength that you need to let go of past hurt and find true peace.

    And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)

     

    Ladies, do you have forgiveness? Do you know of other ways to strengthen your forgiveness?

    T.M. Gaouettehttp://www.tmgaouette.com
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit tmgaouette.com for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on www.facebook.com/TMGaouette and https://twitter.com/TMGaouette .

    2 COMMENTS

    1. forgiving my abuser really did help…for five years, maybe longer I was subjected to emotional/verbal/physical abuse.

      But for 7 long years, i held a burden in my heart, i could literally feel the heaviness. It weighed me down, even affected my breathing (my asthma) It took a boy, a handsome young man who was a popular kid, to heal me, or at least thaw a few layers of my frozen heart. What is really interesting, is this: my love story was already in progress BEFORE my suffering, my abuse even started. A family friend who was very dear to all of us, noticed that I no longer looked her in the eye (fifth grade, January 2005, I became a prodigal), she then asked her three grandsons to pray for me. not giving them my name, nor a photo. It is so much like that ANTHEM LIGHTS song, “Hide Your Love Away.” He saw my pain on the first day we met, August 11, 2010, just weeks after I died and rose again, walked out of the tomb. He never once let on that he knew about the abuse, he took care of me emotionally; he never once touched my body. He honored my vow to wait. He brought back something I had long forgotten, but longed to have again: my smile and my laugh. Those two things-plus my eyes (two different colors)- were the only clues his grandmother gave.

      Long story short, when I learned who his grandmother was, through a dream, I was stunned, because I had already accepted that HE WAS THE ONE, but didn’t understand why HE CHOSE ME out of all the other girls he could have chosen. Surprisingly, his grandmother had already felt like family to me, and I missed her dearly, not knowing if i would ever see her again, because she had been laid off from her job (school nurse) the year we left my hometown and moved to her grandson’s town. Also, in January 2010, my mom had given me two choices: to stay or to leave. I didn’t know what to do: I was too afraid to leave, yet too afraid to stay. But, God knew what I needed to do. So He sent me a dream, and I stayed. It wasn’t until last November, that i realized that God had led me straight to him, for He gave me a dream of a boy (blurry figure, but felt like it was a boy) and a house (complete with details like surrounding landmarks and the location on the street) that seemed to glow with an unearthly light.

      Three years ago, on February 15, I forgave my dad in my heart.
      A month before, my YP had a sermon about forgiveness. About true forgiveness. Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

      I knew that God was speaking to me through Pastor Shane. Afterwards, he (Shane) asked if there were any past hurts and if we wanted to seek forgiveness, or need help forgiving. I was quiet. I did not go to him or Kelsey, the other YP. Instead, I looked internally, into my spirit. Not knowing that the heaviness I felt I had for a long time was the grudge I had grew. The day after Valentine’s Day, 10 minutes before third period ended (I was a senior in HS, then), I felt something in my chest just lift. I know that this may sound cliche, but it is true: I felt so free, that I could sprout wings and just fly away. At first, I had thought it was the anxiety I had, of tests, of social gatherings (school was ok, but when I got home, you could definitely tell I was strained, stressed, worn out). But, as the days and then weeks passed, I knew somehow deep down what it was.

      I listen to a Christian radio station pretty much 24/7, Air1 Radio. There was a new song by Matthew West that aired a few times. “Forgiveness” that was the song. I listened to the song a few times before I got it. It was around May. The verse that really hit home is this: It’ll clear the bitterness away, it can even set a prisoner free There is no end to what it’s power can’t do. So let it go and be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace, The prisoner that it really frees is you.

      It is so true what forgiveness really does. So, if you have a past hurt, and you don’t think you can forgive, read the Word of God. Look what Jesus did on the cross. He forgave.

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