Before going out into the world every day, most of us stop and take a moment to look in a mirror. We fix our hair, make sure nothing is stuck in our teeth, and we check the neatness of our clothing. We leave the mirror with the confidence that we look good. How many of us check the mirror for forgiveness?
It is easy to check for the outward appearances but what are we carrying on the inside? Just like you adjust everything else in the mirror, do you adjust your forgiveness daily?
Unforgiveness has a look. It is a look of heaviness and despair. It is something that if you carry it on the inside, it shows up on the outside. It must be adjusted to improve your outer appearance.
I held onto unforgiveness for a long time. So much so that any offense that someone did to me justified me holding onto unforgiveness. From a person owing me money, lying on me, or forgetting my birthday made me mad enough to chose not to forgive. It all stemmed from the fact that I was still holding onto unforgiveness from being molested, abused, talked about, cheated on, put down, and looked over.
I remember when I was 16 my daddy telling me I was going to be ugly because I always had my lips poked out. He wasn’t saying that to be mean, but he wanted me to lose the attitude. I was mad and had an attitude about everything which is why I always had the duck lip look before it became popular. So full of unforgiveness even at a young age is what caused my outer looks to be unattractive. This was my way of life and I held onto unforgiveness simply because I had a right to or so I thought.
Later in my adulthood, once I got into a relationship with God, He began to deal with me on my unforgiveness. God desired a relationship with me and I too desired one with Him but there was something in the way of us truly experiencing a solid relationship, and that was my unforgiveness.
I started hearing sermon after sermon preached about it and folks were constantly telling me to let it go, but I would not bend. The entire time I would be thinking about what was done to me while the messages of forgiveness were being preached and would tell myself that there is no way they could expect me to forgive what was done to me. Messages like that would shift my spirit and I would be in service with my lips poked out and upset just appalled at the fact that I should even consider forgiving those that hurt me. How could I forgive someone for molesting me, hitting me, threatening me, or cheating on me? In fact, forgiving them wasn’t worth it because they would never change. However, I remember hearing the scripture, Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NIV) Lord knows I needed God to forgive me of my offenses and sins, and I also desired a closer relationship with Him so I had to forgive.
It did not come easy, nor did it come overnight, but it did come. I made the decision to forgive the worst of my offenders to the least of them. Holding onto unforgiveness was not worth me missing out on growing closer to God.
Once I starting walking in forgiveness, I got my smile back. People took notice and were saying there was something different about me. It was the appearance of my forgiveness a glow. I am quicker to forgive because being in relationship with God is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I want to forgive so I can be forgiven.
Now when I pass the mirror and I adjust my clothes, my smile, and check my teeth, I remind myself to forgive because forgiveness looks good on me.
Meet the Contributor
Deborah Woolard is a single mother of three from Raleigh, NC and she currently resides in Charlotte, NC. She is an ordained & licensed minister and she serves as the Youth Director at R5 Church. Her love for writing, especially poetry is one of the many ways God allows her to use her gifts for His glory. Her poetry can be viewed at https://m.facebook.com/gracefullydsignedbydeborah/.