The Power of Forgiveness

Bishop Vashti McKenzie

Forgiveness, when extended, is a beautiful experience. I’m not referring to the process lens of “forgiving.” This conversation is about understanding what it means to forgive the self and “the other.” The congregants and I have been thoroughly exploring forgiveness, and fleshing out its meaning. We are learning how to forgive on personal and systematic levels. In our Thursday night Christian Education setting, we watched the documentary, “The Power of Forgiveness.” This video used many systematic and personal afflicted offenses to delve into this topic. I observed how this film used Religion as a spiritual root/tool, as well as socio-psychological and scientific facts to prove that forgiveness does embody power and transformation. From “lay-persons” to prominent, religious and political people, each testified about the horrific tattoo and branding experience unforgiveness leaves on the heart, mind and body; in cultures, races, genders, generations and nations. The proposal is to begin with younger generations by developing a forgiveness curriculum for school systems. Teaching this notion and meaning to the budding-young will help fight this cancer.

“In order to forgive, you must first look at the other person through eyes of compassion.” Notice here, the other person is not an enemy, but “hatred, jealousy, envy, and other vices” are enemies. I believe unforgiveness is an enemy, and its mission is to grow in number–to create a large army against forgiveness. Thus, it is spreading. It is our duty to learn about the enemy unforgiveness, and discover new healthy-promoting ways to war against it. Remember, your offender is not your enemy, only the offenses. So, “don’t let these wounds get in the way!”

To be continued…


34 responses to “The Power of Forgiveness

  1. I do agree with you saying that “forgiveness, when extended, is a beautiful experience” because once you forgive people that have done something to you your burden will be lifted and you will be able to do things that you couldn't do before because of your unforgiveness.

  2. After reading the post it's very much in sync with my own thoughts after viewing, “The Power of Forgiveness.” I agree with the notion that forgiveness should be taught to children, not only in the school system, but in there homes. That way it can grow with them. Similar to the act of hatred and racism being taught to children so they can grow with it, but with forgiveness being taught it can counteract the enemy described in the post.

    After watching the video, “The Power of Forgiveness,” I learned the more that Forgiveness has to become a lifestyle. You mentioned that we should look at others through eyes of compassion and I love that so much. In the video, Thich Naht Hanh said,”When patience and compassion is born in your heart then it will be possible to forgive.” Also, a man by the name of Thomas Moore said,” Don't forgive if you're forcing yourself to; It's better not to forgive, then not forgiving from your heart.” Behind that, Dianne Horning let the viewers know,” Forgiveness is something you do for yourself.” With that said, Forgiveness is just an ongoing process, a way of life, a lifestyle. ♥

  3. As I have been experiencing the power of forgiveness I myself found it painful to forgive myself and those I felt wronged me. I felt they owed me an apology, they should ask me for forgivenss but not so. I agree it's the enemy and not the person they just did the act of hurting me, but it was jealousy and hatred that wronged me. Yes, forgiveness starts with me and once I forgive me then forgiveness for them comes freely. My Father says ….Forgive and ye shall be forgiven Luke 6:37 but we all struggled with this if not we would not be here in this class which was predestined by God so we can recognize whom we are truly fighting against. It is not the person it is as Elder says the vices of the enemy who would see us all fall and fail due to unforgiveness but not so. I am angry with the enemy and ready to Dance on the sickness of unforgivenss and take my Joy back.

    In saying all this Joy is in my life and as Bishop Iona Locke says “Just BE joyful” Psalm 149:5 “Be joyful in glory” this is an action not just a verbal. When true forgiveness started taking place in me recently I totally understqnd that and now I feel Joyful, I woke up this morning Joyful and I am going to BE Joyful. As for my wounds God is healing everyone one of them and they can't get in my way because I will continue to FORGIVE!

  4. Minister Amber that is right forgiveness is an ongoing process the scriptures tells us that Matthew 18:21 (NIV) says “Peter asked Jesus Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me…. Jesus answered I tell you not seven but seventy seven times”. Now that should bring compassion for others because if Jesus said then that finishes it. The songwriter said As Your Word says it I believe it I am Saved, I am Healed, I am Free……

    Forgiveness will be my lifestyle….

  5. I DO agree with you Forgiveness, is the way to go because with out it we will not. see Jesus thats why I thank God for a Forgiving heart.

  6. sis sarah you are right because, I was unable to do the things i wantedto do because i had unforgivenss in me.

  7. I strongly agree with you Elder with you saying “forgiveness, when extended,is a beautiful experience” I must say extending forgiveness allows you to have a free mind spiritually and naturally with yourself.When you learn to acknowledge the conflict in your life, you make Gods work easier to heal you and bring joy into your life.

  8. Sis Gloria I truly agree with you saying without forgiveness we will not see Jesus Christ and the father and I must say I do not want to be left behind because I didn't forgive someone who wrong me. I thank GOD for healing my unforgiveness Spirit I give him all the praise and glory for that.

  9. I do agree with what you said “In order to forgive, you must first look at the other person through the eyes of compassion”. Because you can't understand someone or even forgive them, if you can't see through their eyes. You can forgive them more and your pain won't be there anymore and you'll learn to forgive throughout your life.

  10. As we watched in the film, “The Power of Forgiveness”, unforgiveness can divide nations, races, families, etc. Some of the stories told in the film I have heard of in history class or on the news. I have studied family dynamics/relationships, but never have I studied any of them with the understanding of forgiveness and the healing forgiveness can bring.

    I am in the process of learning how to truly forgive and reconcile relationships. So many times, I have let things go or said situations were resolved only to find that my “wounds” were never healed and because I didn’t take care of things as I should have those wounds became infected and caused pain to myself and others. Unforgiveness is an “enemy” that I have given power to and these weapons of jealousy and anger were only hurting myself, not the ones I was upset with.

    In some situations all I wanted to do was heal, but I was too bitter and I didn’t know how. I was unaware that I wasn’t extending forgiveness, because in my mind I was the justified, offended person, waiting for the apologies to come my way. They never came…it hurt so bad! Despite my wounds, what if I would have shown love and reached out? How might things have been different if my anger, self pity and pride not gotten in the way? I know I can’t change the past, but I can work to change situations in the present and myself. I want to “rise above my wounds” – old and new. No longer do I want my wounds to block all the blessings that God has for me.

    As Bishop McKenzie shared, I thank God that His hand was always upon me!

  11. I agree with you sis Sarah because I also could not do anything or be free because of that burden I carried but now I am FREE!

  12. I greatly agree with Elder, that unforgiveness is the enemy, and how it can habor affliction on the mind, body,and soul. I thank God for the knowledge and wisdom that is sent through my leaders. Thank you God for I'm still a work in progress. Continue to chisel, Lord what is not of you away from me.

  13. I was grabbed and touched by Evangelist's words on her life and forgiveness. I'm overjoyed to see the work of forgiveness in her heart. I see the transformation on her I praise God for her forgiveness and her overflow of Joy.

    Thank you God!

  14. I agree with Elder because I think that children should learn forgiveness. When they grow up they will forgive people. So that they will not get in alot of trouble when they older. Forgiveness takes away hatred, envy jealousy and the enemy. I should forgive so when I get older I will follow behind in her footsteps in forgiveness.

  15. What Sis Chania said was also true that if you forgive then you wont have anymore pain and you can forgive throughout your life.

  16. Sis Ciara I admire you. I admire that you are willing to learn and explore the true meaning of forgiveness at such a young age. You desire to learn about forgiveness because you realized that it will help make you a better person in the future.

  17. Elder I thank God for you because i did not know what a blog was, but it's okay because I can do all things though christ Jesus; and i thank GOD for that and You!!!!!

  18. Even in talking about the power of forgiveness I have been tried with this even on this week,and I had to realize that the problem was not in the person but it was a spirit operating in them. I almost gave into the enemy and I was geting ready to retaliate but I began to think on the bible study and the movie that we saw, and my God it did'nt even phase me where as I would have said something or thought a certain way about the person, I realized I didn't have to do that. And it made me feel so good because I see the growth that is taking place in my life and I feel so good about it. I thank God for this bible study I have never expierienced a bible teaching in this way and I love it.

  19. Amber I agree totally with you forgiveness should be a part of our lifestyle, because we will be wronged almost everyday of our lives and we as being christians we are always gonna have to forgive.

  20. I truly feel that forgiveness should be taught to our youth early on and when they get older it will not be as hard to forgive because the seed has already been planted and have time to grow and flourish.

  21. Sis Ciara I am a witness to what you are saying asbout teahing the children about forgiveness. I feel that it should be a mandatory course given in ever school.

  22. Sis. Sabrina, I am glad to hear your VICTORY report. It is encouraging. Elder said it is our duty to discover new ways to war against the enemy. You were tested, but you didn't retaliate – you understood how the enemy was working.

  23. Yes i do agree with the power of Forgiveness,People can forgive and some will not. we as a people need to repent,confess of our sins,and ask God to come into our hearts,and to keep our minds stayed on him.No one person thinks the same,regardless of race creed or color .We have to forgive our self first,before we can forgive someone else.we also have to love our self ,before we can love someone else.we all fall down,but by Gods grace and mercy we get back up,and by his stripes we are healed.Jesus forgave others that persecuted him.hurt and pain has pasted from generation to generation. we need to pray and ask God to intervene in the area of non forgiveness and pray that the cruse will be broken .how can we say that we love our sister or brother ,when we do not love our self.Please as christians we need to learn how to forgive. we can not be a christian,if have a nonforgiving heart.God gave us his ultimate sacrifice ,which was Jesus.

  24. Yes i do agree with Asposle Ivey ,The bible said Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old,he will not depart from it.

  25. Brother Bennell I do agree with you because not everyone is willing to forgive. So the blood won't be on your hands anymore because you would've moved on by then and left the problem behind and they would still be holding on hurting themselves the more.You are also right with saying not everyone thinks the same because if you were to make a picture with a mixture of colors not everyone's interpretation would be the same.

  26. Bro Bennell wow that was awesome Yes HE did it and if HE did it then we can DO it! It might not be as easy as Christ did but we shall strive to do it! That is LOVE! Unforgiveness is like an infected wound if it is not attended to it will cause gangrene and the only way to get rid of it, is to cut it off as Bishop Vashti McKenzie said “DOn't Let Your Wounds Get In The Way” Let's kill this curse, this sickness, this infection with the ultimate Forgiveness and LOVE!

  27. I Choose To Forgive!

    Forgiveness is an act. It requires faith and action. Our Spirit, Soul and Body are affected by forgiveness or the lack of forgiveness. I agree that forgiveness embodies power and transformation. When we walk(our lifestyle) in unforgiveness, we are like a time bomb waiting
    to explode. There are times when we are more readily to forgive those we choose to forgive than forgiving across the board.

    Forgiveness is like Our Father in Heaven. It has no respect of persons. Teaching forgiveness to the younger generation is a strategic move to offset the enemy(unforgiveness) that grows up with our youth to adulthood. Understanding
    unforgiveness as an enemy and choosing to forgive releases us to live a freed life. I am grateful that God requires us to forgive one another before He forgives us. Imagine if He didn't mandate this requirement. Some of us would
    still be in bondage, chained and shackled with unforgiveness. I Choose to Forgive!

  28. Wow Apostolic lol
    Really Apostle, Forgiveness is act. This act demonstrates the power invested in us as beings. When we choose not to forgive, we begin to take this Power for granted.

    Utilizing Forgiveness allows us to lead healthy, less stressful lives. Like you stated Apostle unforgiveness can and will harm not only the individual's heart, but their mind and body as well.

    I'm glad you brought out the point that God does mandate that we forgive. If we don't how could he forgive us. Imagine if he didn't require it, where would the world be today? So with this power invested in me, I choose to FORGIVE. Forgive and like you say Apostle,”KEEP IT MOVING!”

  29. All I can say is Wow!!! I am at a place in my life where I truly need God like never before. Forgiveness seems to be a hard thing to do, but I realize that if I desire to be free and love again then I must Forgive.. I wish I could be in these classes with you ladies, because this needs to be taught not only to the younger generation but us older folks can learn from this also. Thank you for sharing…

  30. I have been weeding the garden of my soul recently and I found some weeds with very strong roots that I could not remove. When I look back on my life I find that many things that have hurt, wounded, or offended me may not have hurt or wounded another person in the same situation. I asked the Lord to reveal whatever it is in me that causes me to feel wounded, angry, or hurt in situations where, sometimes, no hurt was intended and why I tend to overreact in situations where offenses may have been intended. I believe Jesus said forgive seventy times seven not only for the brother's or sister's sake but so that we can see ourselves better as well. Wounds have roots and anything that resembles the original cause of a wound will produce an original response. The Lord has shown me that many times I respond to situations as if I am responding to a situation that wounded me years and years ago. A person can live a lifetime in fear of dogs because of one bad experience with 'a' dog as a child. That fear will produce the same reaction whenever that person sees or hears what even resembles a dog. In revealing me to myself, the Lord is showing me that many of my reactions or responses to situations may have as much to do with my fears and learned responses as it does the other person's offense, if not more. The more I learn about me, the more I am compelled to see the other person better and to forgive them, even for childhood abuses or major offenses. One of the most difficult things for me to do has been to accept my part in the offenses that I thought were merely caused by the other person, and to learn to forgive myself as well. I believe it is these kinds of things that we do not see, or necessarily understand, about ourselves that become 'the roots of bitterness' that the Apostle Paul talks about in the book of Hebrews. The removal of some roots in us require a greater power than our own. Just as it took Jesus to conquer sin and death for us, we need a master weed remover to help remove those stubborn roots. I am asking God for wisdom and understanding to help me lay aside the roots of sin that have so easily beset me so that I can patiently grow in grace and run this race of faith to the finish line.

    Two days ago my computer developed a virus. I don't know where it came from because I had not been to any websites or downloaded anything that would have caused this to happen. My only conclusion was that I had been on an unsecured wireless network and the virus came through the network. Although the subscription to my security system had expired, it still provided some protection for my computer. This virus, however, rendered my security system useless. So here I am in Wal-mart, of all places, at midnight buying a virus protection security system to install on my computer. Even with the new security system I had to fight the virus with work-arounds just to install it on my computer. Now my computer runs better than before.

    I thank God for Jesus and for those in my life who have ministered grace to me and through whom I have experienced the love and forgiveness of God. Please pray for me that God will continue to give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit so that I may be “transformed by the [continual] renewing of my mind[].”

  31. Apostle JRW I am in total agreement with you because I was a time bomb just ticking ready to explode. Unforgiveness was building up hatred, in my life. But, this class is teaching me to forgive in ways I would have never done before. Even though the work that was begun when I came to this ministry started it off, this will be the conclusion of all those past hurts being destroyed and severed from my life. Never to return again in Jesus name! I Decree it!

    Yes there will be more hurts and forgiveness to practice in our lives, who choses to forgive. I definitely chose to forgive. In chosing to forgive Father please transform me, and mold me so that my lifestyle will be an example to my children and all the children I come into contact with.

    In saying that no more chains holding me, Forgiveness breaks those shackles and I am FREE to FORGIVE and oh yea BREATH!!!!

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