When I Decided To Forgive the Unforgivable

Have you ever tried to love an enemy? I mean... it's tough, for lack of a better word. Yes, we are commanded as Christians to love others, even in the midst of persecution, but humanly speaking, it's one of the hardest things to do. In fact, one might even say that it's something that's reserved for Super Christians because of how difficult it is LOL! That "one" is me! LOL

Recently, God has had to really work with me on this whole issue of forgiveness. I went through a period of time this year where some unforeseen events led to a quick and swift abandonment from people that I considered friends and family. A trial came in my life and all of a sudden, every one who knew my character and vowed to support me and be in my corner went completely silent. I was ostracized by people who I thought knew me better than that. It was completely unexpected and of all I've gone through recently, it's been one of the toughest things for me to grasp and overcome. Like, if you've ever met me, you know I give people this same speech before opening up to them... "Listen. If there's any thing that I believe in wholeheartedly, it's loyalty. Be disloyal to me, and we're done." Seriously, any relationship I enter, like work-related, friendship, whatever; this is what I say and mean.

BUT! when you're going through a trial, 1) you can be blinded by what is going on around you and/or 2) you're so vulnerable that you may ignore disloyalty because you NEED something/someone familiar to cling to in the midst of chaos.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

To make a long story short, God had to show me that 1) He was pruning my life and ridding me of relationships that were going to be discontinued or whose impact would be lessened in the next season and 2) I needed to learn to forgive people and love them in spite of being wronged.

I look back now and am amazed at how God has grown me, because let me just say, even now, I am bewildered at how He has strengthened me to hug people who dragged my name in the mud, pray for people who meant harm in my life, and so on. Can I just tell you how freeing it is though? For a while, I was BITTER. I would see people that I was angry at, and they were unbothered, which BOTHERED ME MORE. I was being eaten up inside, and they were chillin. I prayed to God, "Help me not to be consumed. Show me how to love and to forgive in spite of being wronged."

So to anyone reading this, if you're in the same boat, I hope this encourages you.

FORGIVENESS IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD. Forgiveness is impossible without Him.
1) You have to willingly decide to forgive. Time does NOT heal all wounds, friends. Recognize that unforgiveness leads to bitterness, and it impacts you THE MOST and mostly impacts YOU. However, as a sidenote, I will say this: bitterness stinks, like carries an odor. It will impact you and eat you up inside AND it makes you unpleasant to be around. No one wants to be around someone who is forever bitter.

2) Pray to God.
Listen, man. There's NO way that you will just love your enemies on your own. This point needs no explanation. You want to forgive? Talk to God. What an awesome example of someone who loves unconditionally and always extends forgiveness.

3) Look to the scriptures.
I remember being isolated from the people who abandoned me, but God told me He wasn't going to allow me to be gone forever. I was going to have to see those people again and look them in face (covered in victory), but He wasn't going to bless my gloating and pride that was rooted in bitterness. I was so perplexed, like, "God, don't you want me to show them what YOU did! Blow a few raspberries? Walk with that smirk since you turned this thing around for me!?!" God knows that's what I wanted to do (JUST BEING HONEST, in my flesh! LOL)

Yeah, no. That's completely contrary to what God's word says. He handles revenge. Our job is to walk in humility and give Him the glory.

I remember the first day (of 1 week) I went back to see everyone; restored. WOW. That was one of the toughest weeks for me. I came home from work that day with such a heavy heart. I thought I could smile in their faces and be unbothered, but I hadn't dealt with that hurt, anger, and bitterness of how I was mistreated, so in my own strength, I couldn't do it. I went home and fell on my face, crying out to God for leading. I was like, "God! This is hard! HELPPPPPPPP!!! There's got to be a Bible story I can look to for the answer." (flips through pages rapidly* I wanted a cute little story like Joseph or Abraham or something, but you know where the Holy Spirit led me? The Crucifixion.  

I was laid out on the floor in tears, already convicted, before rereading it. So I opened up my Bible and started reading and writing. I never would've thought to go to the story of the Crucifixion to learn about forgiveness, although it makes perfect sense now. Here's what convicted me:
  • The Jewish leaders planned the attack on Jesus. (Live for God and KNOW that there will be a planned attack on the your life. CC: the devil)
  • They were excited to see the demise of Jesus.
  • Jesus knew he'd be betrayed, yet he still loved his betrayers.
  • Jesus' temperance... all the power he had, yet he refused to do harm to them because his purpose was bigger than him. People were going to be saved by his wrongful persecution and death. He couldn't afford to go off on the Jewish leaders. The lives of others depended on him.
    • Did you ever think that wanting to go slap off on people and be caught up in your pride will stop others from knowing Christ because they see how you react to your trial? Fleshly reactions to persecution disallow God from getting the glory out of what He's trying to teach you.
  • Jesus was abandoned, mocked, played, slapped, talked about, accused, discarded, harmed, and replaced. (This literally brings me to tears.) Yet he prayed for his persecutors while on the cross! He used his last breath to ask God to forgive them for how they treated him. WOW! My haters can't get my last breath!
    • Right around this time, I was overcome with guilt. It was like the Holy Spirit was saying, "You think you're struggling? You're mad people have forgotten you and moved on? There are victories with your name on them that are unfolding, and you're CHOOSING to be bitter and hurt? Do you see what I endured for you? Do you see the power I withheld to be brutalized so that YOU could be saved and spend eternity with me?"
    • How do you respond to that? The Holy Spirit got me RIGHT together. I was being a baby. In so many words, this was a "MAN UP" devotion. I got my tears out on my altar (the floor in my room lol), sang my heart out to Kevin Lavar's Heart That Forgives, and got up determined to endure whatever would come at me because GOD was going to be glorified through it. (It was like a weight had been lifted. At work the next day, I was so refreshed. I was back at work and people were in awe/still refusing to speak to me really, but you couldn't tell me nothing! I was standing on the promises of God, and no one was going to drag me back into the bondage of bitterness. One of my closest friends one of 4 who didn't abandon me said, "Whatever you did yesterday, I need to do, because you look so much better today."
  •  As I'm looking back at my notes, I see that, that night during my devotions, I also:
    • Made a T chart of all God had done for me vs. How I was getting in the way of glorifying Him because I refused to forgive others
    • Made another T chart that said, "What my pride has me feeling" vs. "What I know is true through God" 
      • Own your feelings. Own your hurt. Write them down, but counteract them with what God says. Oftentimes we harp on things that God has already solved. Why are you STILL mad?
        • Example: MY PRIDE HAS ME FEELING HURT. God, they lied on me and told people I had been fired. WHAT I KNOW IS TRUE THROUGH GOD. There's a victory with my name on it that no one can stop me from because God has plans to prosper me, not to harm me. This isn't the end of my story!
4) Pray for your enemies.
  • Over the last few months, God has grown my prayer life tremendously. I've gone from never getting on my knees to pray to carving out at least 30 minutes every day to lay out talking to God uninterrupted, in addition to praying in the car and every where else.
    • PRAYER TIP: (Esp. for millenials lol) Use your Notes App to make a prayer list. You may not take paper and pencil wherever you go, or you're like me and lose your paper, but chances are, you have your phone. When you hear someone struggling, put them on your list. You see someone out in need of prayer, add them to the list in your phone. I've seen my list grow exponentially, and because I'm so introverted and struggle with small talk LOL, it's helped me communicate better with others because 1) I can say, "Hey, I'm praying for you! How's your mom doing? or Any word on that job? or 2) I can say, "Hey, how can I pray for you?" And for the first time in my life, when I say, "Hey, I'm praying for you, I actually mean it lol"
5) Apply it.
  • So who did the Holy Spirit tell me to put on my prayer list? My enemies. Low key, I was hesitant, but each time I wanted to refuse, I thought back to how God saw me worth praying for and send His son for me. How dare I have the audacity to refuse to do something He was leading me to do? Do you know how hard it is to hate someone you are praying for?  Do you know how hard it is to wish something terrible would happen to someone when you are taking time to call them out by name to God? Very. I prayed specifically for people who I knew God had removed from my circles. God has removed me from that environment, and I still pray fervently for them. I check in with them and let them know I think of them. I've sent cards to some of them (I know; I'm perplexed myself. That's what happens when you let God lead you, instead of your flesh) And I'm talking GOOD cards, like, Mahogany Hallmark... Not just the $0.99 cards!
  • There have been times where God has told me to go hug my enemies, and though my flesh was like NO!!!!! I yielded to the Spirit and did it. Times where I approached my enemies and I told them I was thinking of them, even though they tried to hide from being seen with me. SMH.  That's something only God can do through you.

NOW, am I saying forgive people, forget what's happened, and just go right back like nothing's changed? Not at all. I believe some people are only meant to be in our lives for seasons. We have to operate with discernment on when those seasons change. The difference is, even though the season changes and you've moved on, you don't have to carry that bitterness into the next season with you. It is very possible to terminate a friendship, work-ship, or relationship amicably, and that's the Christian thing to do. Even still, the love doesn't stop. (EXAMPLE: God is so good and since that week where I had to face my enemies and choose to forgive, I've been promoted. I no longer work in that same place with those people, but today was the first day of school. What did the Holy Spirit convict me to do yesterday? Write them personal emails wishing them a great first day. God gets the glory for that. Imagine what that says to people?)

All I can say is God's grace is sufficient. It really is. You can't try to love your enemies on your own. It won't work. It's a God thing. Forgiveness is for you, but it's not about you. Forgive because God forgave you. Love unconditionally because God loves you unconditionally. When you want to harbor hatred, go slap off, or cut someone off, think back to what you've done to God and how He didn't cut you off when He could have. Think of how He gave His ONLY son for you so that you could have access to Him and be a child of God. That should humble you to forgive when others mistreat you.

Praying for my Enemies,

O' God, How great and mighty You are. I say it all the time, but i"m truly in awe of you. You're beyond amazing. Your Word is incredibly true and potent; never failing. You said in your word that we will have to endure persecution as children of God, but that there are blessings for those who endure. No matter how hard it may get, God, You go before us AND walk beside us. You lead and guide us, and so NOTHING can separate us from you or overtake us to cause us to walk in defeat. As children of God, there are victories with our names on them. So no matter how hard it gets or what people say about us, we can look to you and trust you to bring us out. Help us to not lean to our own understanding and lash out through our pride and flesh, but to look to you to love. Help us to see YOU in our enemies. Because you love them, we can love them. Teach us, train us, mold us, for Your good and glory. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Kevin Lavar- Heart That Forgives


  1. Jameka! This was a blessing to me today.
    "Own your feelings. Own your hurt. Write them down, but counteract them with what God says."
    Sis! This right here! If we could get ahold of this. You're feelings are real, but you have to take those feelings and bounce them off the Word of God! When the Word say "Nah, you wrong for that", we must change our feelings. Love this. Keep doing your thing.