for·give  (fr-gv, fôr-)

v. for·gave (-gv)for·giv·en (-gvn)for·giv·ingfor·gives
v.tr.

1. To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example).
Every Sunday I do my best to tune into The Potter’s House and catch a Word from Bishop T.D. Jakes. It’s no secret that I love the Word of God and equally obvious (or at least it should be by now) is my profound love and respect for the men and the women of God who preach and teach the Word of God with power and authority. There are few preachers that I know in this modern day that can expound on the word and paint such a vivid mental picture for the listener as Bishop Jakes. Not only is his preaching profound, but his testimony of how God raised him up from relative obscurity in the hills of West Virginia are equally as profound. I remember the message that set the nation on fire called, “Show Me Your Wounds” that he preached back in the early 1990’s. This was years before The Potter’s House and he was barely a household name then. Now, he’s known all around the world.
So what would a man so powerful and so blessed and highly favored by God have to teach about today?
FORGIVENESS and OFFENSE.
Wow. 
It’s almost as if those are the twin companions of many single mothers. Who hasn’t been offended more than once? Who knows what it’s like to hear he spent the money you needed to feed and clothe the children on a new outfit or some “me time”? Who hasn’t screamed into a pillow after the 100th promise made was broken? What single mother hasn’t had her intelligence insulted, her motives questioned, and her parenting scrutinized by a parent who barely even qualified as a parent himself?
We’ve all been there and some of us have been there longer and had way more unpleasant stays than others.
So why is this forgiveness thing always laid at a woman’s feet? 
Why does it seem as if we are the ones always left with the burden of forgiving the person who wronged us?
Well, the short and simple answer is that person who’s the most offended has the most forgiving to do. lol!
I really can’t make it any more plain than that.
I know for a fact that had I retained every offense and wrong ever committed to me by the father of my children, I would be far more bitter and he’d certainly have no meaningful involvement with his children whatsoever. 
I know for a fact that it’s because of my capacity to forgive that he’s in their lives today.
He’s not a father to them because he’s working so hard at being a good one.
No ma’am. No sir. 
Not by a country mile.
He’s the father he is to them because I chose to forgive him.
And that’s what Bishop Jakes said today that is sinking in with me:
“Forgiveness is a DECISION”.
If you’re waiting on a feeling, you’ll die waiting.
Forgiveness is a decision. Just like a finance company CHOOSES to forgive a debt, we too choose to forgive the debt of those who trespass against us.
Little did I know that barely an hour after I heard this message I’d be tested. I was feeling lazy today so I hadn’t gotten up and dressed and all that cute stuff that women do to look presentable when all of a sudden, my door bell rings. It’s the father of my children standing on my doorstep with his 14 year old daughter in tow. His daughter is up from Atlanta spending a week with him. 
I wanted to knock him out and roll him down my driveway.
FIRST OF ALL…
His daughter is as sweet as can be but she’s also a young lady who reports EVERYTHING she sees and hears to her mother. So she gets to see a sweaty, shabbily dressed baby mama #2 and take that back to Atlanta as headline news. Second, when I asked my children’s father WHY IN THE SAM HAM he didn’t bother to call, he brushed it aside as if it wasn’t a big deal and that I shouldn’t be upset.
There was no apology.
No acknowledgement of my embarrassment.
Just a “It don’t matter. It’s no big deal. Whateva”.
Woo saaaah…
So what did I do?
After he left, I declared out loud that I forgave him for being an inconsiderate idiot.
It doesn’t matter that I don’t feel sincere in my forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a feeling. 
It’s a DECISION.
Once you DECIDE to forgive, you then have the ability to forgive. You can’t forgive without making a decision to do so first.
Now does that mean he’ll get to come back to my house unannounced? 
Absolutely not. And there’s nothing wrong with me informing him that I don’t care how far he drives, the next time he pops up unannounced, he won’t get in. 
That’s well within my right to do.
But I CHOOSE not to hold today’s transgression against him, just like I chose not to hold his past transgressions against him.
And let me just say this..
I’ve been through a LOT with this man. There’s not enough bandwidth and time to tell you everything this one created being has put me through… and what I allowed him to get away with for YEARS. But I will say the reason why I’m able to smile, not walking around with three ulcers and perfectly willing to give love another chance when the right man comes along is because I REFUSED to hold onto every little wrong he did to me. 
I let it go.
I don’t regret letting it go either.
It would be a tragedy if I walked around bitter and angry while he was walking around without a care in the world, not even aware of or particularly caring that he’d made me so upset. It’s so much better to be free to be happy, free to love and free to MOVE ON.
Forgiveness isn’t a fun subject. It hurts to forgive a debt. You want to be paid back.
But ask yourself something: could they ever really make it right?
Really?
Let it go.
Be free.
Forgive.
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