Un-Coffee and Un-Forgiveness
Un-coffee is not a real world, just so you know, but I think un-coffee could mean instant coffee (sorry Theresa), stale coffee, weak coffee or decaf. Un-coffee is something that really shouldn’t be allowed in our society because what purpose does it serve, really? Since this is my weekly blog, I feel that I can make this generalization especially being the coffee connoisseur that I am. You can choose to not agree with me if you want, but if you really think about it, it’s the truth. Why drink something that is not beneficial?
Since un-coffee is something that doesn’t serve any good purpose, why would you even want to spend the time and energy to purchase it, create it, consume it, or share it? Don’t you think we really should spend our time on the planet doing good things? My belief is that my time should be spent sharing the grace of God and helping people live a life full of hope and joy, and of course, a good cup of coffee.
I really have never lived my life in a time of un-coffee as it is something I would never allow to happen, but oh how I have lived my life in unforgiveness. Oh, heavens, the time I have wasted in unforgiveness and the sadness it created not only in my life but in the lives of my family, friends, and co-workers. In the Bible, the book of Leviticus was written by Moses in order to help the Israelites understand the holiness of God. He wanted them to understand that He expects them to act in a holy manner towards God himself. During the time of Moses’ writing God gave instruction to Moses to inform the Israelites that there will be a Year of Jubilee in which all debts will be forgiven and all debtors would pardoned and set free. In this, God instructs us to forgive those who have hurt us and offer complete forgiveness for what they have done, just as Jesus Christ has done for us.
As I mentioned above, I desire to spend my life sharing the grace of God with people so that they may life a life full of hope and joy. This, certainly, was not something I could do as I lived a life full of resentment. My most favorite verse in scripture is Hebrews 12:15 which reads, “Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many.” It’s my favorite because once I realized my bitterness or unforgiveness was keeping me from knowing the grace of God, I was not going to be able to help others know joy and hope through the grace of God. I knew that I needed to get over resentment in my life in order to be able to live hope and joy filled and to help others live this way.
If you, yourself, want to live a life full of hope and joy, you must begin to let go of the resentment that has taken root in your soul. Resentment is like a prison wall that keeps you stuck in the past and never allows you to see the promise of a hope filled future. When we are in resentment or unforgiveness, it is so difficult to not continually think about what a person has done to us. It keeps us in hate. It keeps us in constant anxiety about the incident. It becomes a nasty poison that shrivels our heart and keeps us from pure joy by being present in the life we live in Christ. A life of joy and hope. Forgiveness offers you a straight path to living. When we live in unforgiveness and resentment, we cannot move forward in any direction. We stay focused solely on the person that has hurt us, rather than on the people we find joy in being with.
I am not saying that forgiveness an easy thing. I intentionally joined a 12-step program in order to be able to focus my intentions and energy on forgiveness. It took, and still takes, a lot of looking to God when the feeling overcomes me. It takes me remembering Christ hanging on the cross and that this action is what forgives me over and over, even when I don’t deserve it. That’s grace!! Jesus could certainly hold forgiveness from me because I am simply unable to follow everything he asks of me, yet he tells us over and over that he will always forgive us. Hebrews 10:17 says, “and I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.” This is part of God’s covenant with us. He is telling us that he will forgive us as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12). He tells us, “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.” (Matthew 6:14) Again He says, “bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)
I think it is important for us to offer this forgiveness to the ones who have hurt us so that we, then, can let go of trying to take care of the whole mess. If we let go, it allows God the opportunity to take control. It allows us to be released from the hurt and allows God to take it all on. After all, we know that we sometimes can hurt more than the person who we have not forgiven. Often, the one we have not forgiven, doesn’t even know we are upset. How does this hurt them? It only hurts us. But, imagine how freeing it could be to both parties if the forgiveness is given. It would be like learning you are being released from a long-time prison sentence. Imagine the joy that would bring. Just as God cancels our debts, we are to forgive and cancel the debts others owe to us.
So, what are the next steps to forgiveness since we can be absolutely certain this is what Jesus would want us to do? At this point we have a choice to make. We can wallow in self-pity and anger or we can choose to forgive.
“Forgiveness means giving up both the resentment you may have and the desire to retaliate. Doing so involves three important steps.
1. Surrender the general attitude of resentment. That is, make a decision not to languish in your pain. This can be hard! Many people almost seem to enjoy a mindset of self-pity or martyrdom. But you can choose a different posture and move past your suffering.
2. Give up specific feelings of resentment toward an individual. It is important to let go of the anger that was brought on by hurtful actions—and to try to restore the broken relationship.
3. Lay down all claims to retribution. You cannot forgive someone with your words while secretly wishing him or her harm. True forgiveness seeks the other person’s good, not punishment.
Forgiveness says, “Though you hurt me, I choose to pardon you. I won’t dwell on this, nor will I allow it to destroy my life or attitude. I won’t spend one minute plotting revenge. You are God’s precious child.” Truly forgiving another person is difficult, but the rewards are worth it.”
With God being so clear on how to deal with resentment and unforgiveness, I believe it is definitely something we, as Christians, need to pursue on a daily basis in order to be a light to this world. In order to spread the Light of Jesus Christ into this very hurting world, we must do our part to put unforgiveness away and focus on how to love and forgive the people around us.
Pursuing a life of joy and hope for yourself can only be accomplished with forgiveness. This type of life can only be accomplished with good coffee and forgiveness. Let’s not continue our daily lives wasting time in sadness of unforgiveness and un-coffee.
So, take up your hot drink and begin the process. Today mine is an iced latte while my husband enjoys and iced mocha. Today, I will begin to put aside a small resentment I am having and choose to forgive and let God handle it. Will you join me?
1 In Touch Ministries. (2023, March 22). In Touch Ministries. Retrieved from The Process of Forgiveness: https://www.intouch.org/read/daily-devotions/the-process-of-forgiveness