Forgiving the Judas' Kiss
You cannot journey through this life without experiencing some sort of Judas’ kiss (offense, violation, betrayal, or disappointment). It shows its face in many forms. For example,
Your co-worker steals your idea and gets the promotion;
Your spouse has an affair…again;
Your mom blames you when you told her that her boyfriend sexually abused you;
You learn that your friend shared a secret that was told in confidence;
Your friend did not respond to your private Facebook message, but regularly comments on other people's post; or
You have been out of church for a month but never hear from your church family.
Ouch!!! Whatever the form the Judas’ kiss comes; it can create real emotional wounds. Left unattended, these wounds can infect your soul and poison how you feel, think, and behave. Emotional wounds contaminate how you see yourself, others, and God.
Anyone who has experienced the Judas’ kiss longs for understanding and justice that is often never satisfied. Frequently, in your wait for understanding and justice, you cling to anger and bitterness or you ignore and swallow your pain and slowly implode or explode.
Unfortunately, unsatisfied understanding and justice are protected by unforgiveness which always holds your heart prisoner. Ultimately, unforgiveness locks out your ability to be happy, love wholeheartedly, trust, and feel connected to others.
In order to be happy and live wholeheartedly after a Judas’ kiss, you must learn to forgive. Forgiveness is to purpose and choose in your heart to stop blaming your offender and cancel their emotional debt even if they do not deserve forgiveness or have not asked for it.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians 4:32
The Bible instructs you repeatedly to forgive others for their offenses. But how do you forgive when your soul is screaming for understanding and justice? It helps to know that the instruction to forgive is not there to exclusively to remind you of God’s forgiveness of you but also to ensure that you live abundantly free in your emotions, thoughts, health, and relationships. Forgiveness is one of the most freeing acts you can do. It is the key to healing your emotional wounds and unlocking your heart from the prison of unforgiveness.
Benefits of Forgiveness
There has been a significant amount of research on the personal benefits of forgiveness. It is known to:
1. Improves your mental health
When you forgive you feel happier and gain an overall sense of well-being and contentment. Conversely, unforgiveness is a hindrance to your happiness.
2. Improves your physical health
Forgiveness is known to reduce stress, boost your immune system, and cardiovascular health. How you perceive your circumstances has a direct impact on your health.
3. Improves relationship satisfaction
Offenses often come from those that you desire to maintain a relationship with. Forgiveness will lend the opportunity to mend broken relationships. When you forgive you feel kinder and more connected to others.
4. Sustains marriages and improves conflict resolution skills
Spouses who are able to forgive and let go of grudges are able to work through conflict more quickly and feel more satisfied in their marriage.
Forgiveness is Practical and Supernatural
Sometimes people are so hurt that they honestly don’t know how to forgive and move forward. They don’t know how to stop feeling the anger, sting, and bitterness of the offense. People often wait on the desire to forgive someone before they take the steps to forgive them. The truth is forgiveness is a CHOICE; you can forgive someone by faith even when you don’t feel like forgiving. This practical step of faith becomes your process of surrendering your pain to God. As you choose to forgive your offender, God’s grace supernaturally give you the emotions that feel like forgiveness.
There is no formula to forgiveness; it is a heart journey that is an event and a process. This means that you may need to forgive several times until all the infection and symptoms of unforgiveness are gone. Forgive quickly and every time a negative emotions or thought emerges concerning your offender.
Forgiveness can be effectively done during your intimate time with the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal who you need to forgive and what is in your heart toward that person (anger, bitterness, pride, etc.) This is important because sometimes we can be unaware of the roots and depths of the issue. Sometimes the Holy Spirit may prompt you to directly address the person who has wronged you; if so, ask Him, when and how to address that person in love.
A Simple Prayer of Forgiveness
Father God, I purpose and choose in my heart to forgive (name of person) for ( an exhaustive list of acts committed against you).
I forgive (name of person) for making me feel ( an exhaustive list of ways the person made you feel).
I release them of all judgments that I have made against them and the consequences. I cancel their debt and give them to Jesus.
Jesus (Prince of Peace), I give you the anger, bitterness, shame (or any other negative emotions) and ask that you heal my emotions, thoughts, and memories concerning this issue and replace them with your love, peace, and joy.
I break all ungodly soul ties with (name of person) and severe all negative influence from them in the name of Jesus.
Holy Spirit, reveal the truth and the result of the words that I just spoke.
When mixed with faith this practical heartfelt choice of forgiveness allows God to supernaturally heal your heart, allowing you to live abundantly free in your emotions, thoughts, health, and relationships.