This month our topic for Faith Full Friday is Heart Health. Join Megan Rivera as she walks us through keeping our hearts healthy with frequent forgiveness.
A Healthy Heart Needs Forgiveness
by Megan Rivera
Being in the military frequently puts us in unusual situations. There is a lot of room for sin and temptation in military life. This is why it is so imperative that we guard our hearts to keep them pure and healthy.
Unforgiveness is like poison to us, causing our hearts to get hard and bitter.
My dad was on active duty in the Army and away at training when I was born. When I was four months old, he told my mom he was having an affair and left our family. He chose never to have any contact with me. As I got older and could understand things more, I struggled. I couldn’t understand why one of the two people in this world that was supposed to love me the most didn’t want to be in my life.
In 2009, I got my dad’s phone number and talked to him once. I would have said yes if you had asked me at that time if I had forgiven him.
However, the truth is, looking back at that point in my life, I still hadn’t.
I was still holding on to feelings of inadequacy and hurt. I had questions, and I wanted to demand the answers! The worst reason is that I wanted him to meet me and know that he had nothing to do with who I had become. I wanted him to hate himself for the choice he made.
But God had a better plan.
For a Healthy Heart, Forgive Others
My dad, step-mom, and siblings came into my life in 2014. During that visit, I got to have a day when he and I spent time together. A friend, who had been praying for the situation, told me to focus on forgiveness when talking with him.
So I did. Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Sometimes we have a list of reasons to hold on to unforgiveness. But just because we have reasons doesn’t mean we have the right. A healthy heart needs forgiveness towards the people that have wronged us.
We are commanded to forgive each other for our faults, always keeping in mind that we have been forgiven for our own. We have to look at everything through the lens of the cross. The cross brings us restoration, freedom, healing, and hope. Jesus paid the price for forgiveness. Do we realize how much it cost Him? We can’t take His sacrifice for granted and hold onto these things we’re supposed to lay down at His feet.
For a Healthy Heart, Forgive Yourself
What about when it’s yourself that you can’t forgive? A healthy heart needs forgiveness, especially for ourselves.
God loved us at our darkest (Romans 5:8) and was willing to send His Son for us.
Jesus knew the sins you needed to be rescued from, and He was willing to pay that price. It was all of our nails that pierced Him to that tree.
This is another reminder that none of us deserve forgiveness, so we must offer it to everyone.
We know that God works all things for good.
I can tell you that I am now thankful for all my testimonies of forgiveness and restoration. I know that God will use these stories for hope and encouragement for others as they work toward forgiveness.
Lord, thank You for the forgiveness you have given us through Jesus. May that truth keep us humble and gracious toward others, that we would be able to forgive quickly and love greatly because You say that love covers a multitude of sins. Thank You for always being so faithful to meet us where we are, strengthening us in our weakness, and enabling us to live out this life wholeheartedly as we surrender to You. Let it be all for Your glory. Amen!
Notes and Resources
- Read the introduction for Heart Health Month here.
- Read the introduction for our Faith Full Friday series here.
- Read parts one and two of our January series on empowerment through our identity in Christ.
- Look for a fantastic Deeply Rooted Podcast episode on Heart Health here.