So if you are wondering, Part 2 of what????, check back to Wednesday this week…and just because I put a number on it, doesn’t mean I will have exhausted my thoughts and musings on the subject.
Oh no. Not at all.
This post is the result of the fact that my mind just keeps going long after I finish any teaching, writing or conversation. Just ask my family.
As I think about my personal struggles with unforgiveness, they fall into several categories that are basically:
* perceived wrongs
* actual outright wrongs
* downright betrayals
These are huge and yet so petty, they prove more embarrassing than anything. These are the things that leave me feeling miffed. I want to vent to someone, but experience has shown me that I will get some kind of advice that will only add the “counselor” to my list of people I need to forgive. These are the ones that hurt my feelings because the other person didn’t respond to me in a way that affirmed they care about me, value me, agree with me. Basically, it is when I feel under-loved or under-appreciated or under-mined by someone who has other things going on in their life besides my personal happiness. These are the offenses that when I take them to God, He usually sets me straight right quick with a new opportunity to die to ME and live for HIM. Pride dies an ugly death.
Actual outright wrongs:
That probably is just a grammatical nightmare by the way, but it sums up a category that does happen to me. Thankfully, not as often as my perceived wrongs. These are the wrongs that really good friends and my family notice. These are not to be confused with perceived wrongs that “pot-stirrers” like to bring up to create conflict for me with others. No, these are when I am hurt and my accountability people say they can see why I am hurt. Again, though, it’s what I learn when I go to God that matters. When I am directly wronged over something major or minor, it is only on my knees that I will receive insight into why it is hard for me to forgive the one who wronged me. As I pour out my heart and expose the wound to Jesus, I can be honest with Him. I can tell him what happened, where it is hurting and I can also ask Him to help me begin the process of forgiveness. Often I begin to see things like my own contribution to the situation or how the current pain is really stirring up old wounds. In prayer and meditation on His Word, I begin to apply the lessons of forgiveness taught on the Cross. The quicker I head to Him, the smoother the resolution of these injuries
The most painful and thankfully, the least experienced in my life. I thank God that there have been only a handful. These are the wounds that change us, and seemingly change the path of our life. For me, they hurt like everything and took, literally, years to recover from. I needed good friends and family to support me through these. They listened and cried with me, and listened some more. They listened until they could tell the story all by themselves. But only God can heal the wound and only God could turn me from bitterness to forgiveness. In the brokeness of tears and in the kindness of a loving Father, there can be forgiveness. And there must be.
Because as difficult as it is to finally come to admit; betrayal, like every other hard part of life, is allowed by the permissive will of God. I don’t have answers about the theology of why God allows things to happen that He could stop. But I have read enough of Scripture to see that if He permitted all the events of Joseph’s life in order to bring about the “good”, then He most certainly has the same capacity in my little world.
While the process of forgiveness in these areas is long, what joy comes the day I see the betrayer. and instead of anger or bitterness, I know God’s love has replaced those feelings. What blessed relief to experience the peace that comes when His Scars hold my scars completely and eternally.
Whatever the cause, real or imagined, we are going to experience offenses, neglects, betrayals and worst of all, we are going to be the cause of someone else’s! Aaack! That is a thought for another day!!! or two?
And so…..we need a Savior, a Healer, a Mediator, a Counselor, a Heart Surgeon. The only One who never had to ask for forgiveness, but extended it to all.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
*** If my thoughts today have prompted your own thoughts and you would like to voice them, please feel free to use the comment section SAFELY. All comments go through moderation first, so I do not have to post your comments. Just note that it is private, or tell me you want it published. You can, of course, always use my home email. God bless you if your heart has been stirred or convicted in an area of unforgiveness. May you know God’s healing touch on that tender place today!