Forgiveness is a powerful thing that has a tremendous influence on whether I will walk in victory in the area of food and eating.
When I don’t keep short accounts by readily extending forgiveness to anyone who I perceive as having wronged me, I find that I am on edge, irritable and ready to eat at any given moment for any given reason! Maybe I am just nuts (probably), but for some reason, when I haven’t forgiven even something as simple as a rude clerk at the grocery store, it sets me up for a fall relative to my godly food/eating boundaries. Perhaps it is because I learned to numb pain with food while still very young.
Many of us are in situations in which we have to choose to forgive even while the offender might yet continue to offend. For instance, if our parents are still alive and we have an ongoing relationship with them, we may have to face a disapproving spirit, knowing full well that they may never BE repentant, or truly change. They aren’t sorry and may not even know they judge us so harshly. We get to choose to forgive even those who will continue to wound us, even those who are not repentant…
This is a challenge for me.
Yet my example is Christ. Jesus prayed to the Father: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” in Luke 23:34. He was willing to extend forgiveness to those who were being brutal to him, even while they chose to continue their sin. In fact, Romans 5:8 says that God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Christ chose to die for the very ones who wronged him. Not only did he forgive them and plead with the Father to forgive them, but he died so that this could happen.
In other words, there was no waiting for them to be repentant first. Christ forgave even as the wrong doers continued to do the wrong.
And he died by their hand even after he forgave them.
I am called to forgive–even those who will continue to wrong me. I don’t wait for everything to be perfect before I forgive. If I am to follow Christ’s example, I will forgive now. The offender may not know the difference or care, but it will radically affect me. It doesn’t let them off the hook (Jesus’ murderers had to answer for what they did), but it causes me to be freed from their control. *I* am the one who needs to forgive for *my* sake!
How about you? Can you relate? When you have built up accounts–haven’t forgiven as readily as you should–do you find that it affects your behavior–your eating? Who do you need to forgive today?