Everyday we have an opportunity to get offended. People are humans and they will do and say things that will make you very angry. Knowing how important an issue is will determine how upset a person can make you.

People that are the closest to us can hurt and wound us the most. Learning to forgive is a lifestyle we must do. The art of forgiveness is giving you a gift. When you allow anger to control you, you carry excess baggage on your back and limit your ability to move in any direction.

There is nothing worse than watching people who have wounded you continue on with their life and you are struck being mad at them. Your whole life is on hold waiting for them to make a move, and you just wanting to remain in that struck pattern feeling sorry for yourself.

Forgiveness is a journey toward personal freedom from our past. Forgiveness is not easy and it requires patience to allow the process to unfold and tact to endure it. The process for forgiveness is transformational, not something to take lightly and not something that can be done on command. (Everyone has own process, and is welcome to being at anytime, your freedom is at stake). Be gentle with yourself on your journey. You will know that you have forgiven when only love and gratitude remain in your heart for the person you have a desire to forgive and you will be free from the bondage of bitterness and pain that imprisons you.

Out of the mistakes we make, or others cause us, comes our pain, hurt and resentment. This resentment escalates into animosity, and builds into bitterness until it destroys relationships and causes us isolation. When we have been wronged, we experience feelings of betrayal, and consider retaliation to be justified. We can walk the other way and execute revenge and it would be considered justified in the eyes of our friends, relatives and especially society. God calls us out of retaliation and into reconciliation. When we fail to forgive we are the ones who suffer the most. Forgiveness is the only human force that can stop the disintegration of relationships. Without forgiveness, our growth and maturity with Christ and our integrity with others cannot be built.

True forgiveness is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Forgiveness is hard because it demands a surrender of our right to get even. Forgiveness causes suffering for the person who was wronged; the victim. Example; your child drops your favorite glass and breaks it, you forgive your child but you no longer have your favorite glass or you must pay the cost to replace it. Relay on God for true forgiveness “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…”

· God is governed by righteousness whereas, desires and emotions drive us.

· God has a moral and virtuous purpose our purpose is self-seeking

· God’s primary purpose in our lives is to bring us out of our self-destructive and self-seeking nature and into the reclamation of redemption in him this is the work of Christ.

· God’s thoughts are beyond our comprehension and imagination therefore we should rely on him and not on ourselves.

Forgiveness does not make light of the wrong, nor does it give license to others to take advantage of us. Out of the completeness of forgiveness will come the forgetting and from the forgetting will come the healing. The healing will close the wounds and allow us to go on with life. It will prevent our sufferings and setbacks from becoming our identify and obsession. If we just try to forget then agonize over it we will get nowhere, but through the process of surrender will come the forgetting. Forgetting is a process and we must be patience with our process.

When we can resolve an issue and consecrate it with forgiveness we are free to move forward without excess baggage weighing us down. We gain a deeper understanding of who WE are, and a new lesson learned. Our unfinished business becomes complete and can be released, freeing up energy no longer needed to keep the unresolved issue and its emotional charge alive. (Think of how it feels to complete a project or assignment, knowing that you no longer have to give it any of your attention.) You are free to focus your energies on other areas.

Forgiveness frees us from the past. Being freed from the past means that we have unlocked emotions and unfinished business, processed through them, learned from them, taken our power back and released them. Being freed from the past means that the issue or event no longer has a hold on us, we are no longer keeping it alive with our energy and no longer need to avoid the issue because we know our energy is less likely to attract a situation with similar essence in the future, we have gained some tools to handle it.

Necessary to the forgiveness process is being able to forgive someone for why they have done whatever they did. We must work to release ourselves from the emotional bondage that the event created for us. Forgiveness requires that we give ourselves permission to be free, to stop identifying ourselves with the event. If we are still talking about how we were wronged we are getting something out of it…

Christ was the substitute for our punishment, so is forgiveness. Forgiveness is a substitution too, since it requires a penalty to be paid and the victim pays that penalty. The relation between what Christ went through so that we could be forgiven and the call for us to take on the responsibility for a sin we did not commit will give us a deeper understanding into the character and nature of God. The result is that we take our response to evil and redirect it for good. Satan is defeated and prevented from receiving his reward from our refusal to forgive.

Forgiveness is worth the agony we may go through, because it will heal the wounds and relieve the pain. Perhaps a scar will remain, but recognize that scar as a badge of honor to help us grow and mature.

Author's Bio: 

Debra Sledge, Founder
Deborahs Army

Debra Sledge is the quintessential Renaissance woman. As co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of The Sledge Group, Inc., she serves God as a conduit and vessel for Black and Latino youth and their families. A certified supervisor of mentoring programs and credentialed New York State Family Worker, Debra ensures the Sledge Group programs are facilitated in a loving atmosphere of empowerment, fostering self-value and self-worth among the participants.
In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the dynamic Harlem based
Organization, she is co-author of their “Mentor’s Training Guide,” and facilitates both the Sistas United life skills workshops and tutoring sessions.

Mrs. Sledge felt personally challenged to develop a program designed to address the specific needs of Black and Latino women; a program that primarily focuses on the consciousness, growth and healing of female relationships. In an age of AIDS, addiction, alienation and apathy, Debra believes healing is essential to the prosperity, rejuvenation and survival of our families and communities.
Through grace, her solo project, “Deborah’s Army” whose motto is “heal a woman, heal a family, heal a community” was birthed. Everything you birth comes through sorrow. Babies are born through labor pains. Careers are built, marriages are strengthened, and character is build through pain. What an awesome revelation. The key however is not to focus on the pain, but to look forward to the promise. Deborah's Army was birthed to provide support, nurturing and wisdom as we each enter our own birthing position.

Apart from her current responsibilities, Debra also enjoys writing and is a contributing author in “Life's Spices from Seasoned Sistahs" A Collection of Life Stories from Mature Women of Color" published by Nubian Images Publishing.
She also believes in multiple streams of income and consults in network marketing.

More important than her accomplishments or awards, Debra is the loving wife and supportive partner of Mychal Sledge, and mother of three daughters, Tiffany, Chanel, and Mykkia. Her personal challenges are an asset to Deborahs Army, and she is spiritually guided to take the organization to even greater heights. Debra’s gentle and humble nature inspires people of all walks of life to push past life’s obstacles to claim the victory they richly deserve!
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it: