And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God IN CHRIST forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
I am behind a little on my readings from the Derek Prince devotional.
So yesterday, I thought I would take advantage of some extra time and catch up on a couple.
Because I got stuck on April 6th…Forgiven as We Forgive…
He talks about how our own forgiveness… our answers to prayers, our own spiritual health and even, physical healing, can be short-circuited when we harbor unforgiveness.
Well, I have to tell you, I have some prayers that I have “circled” and petitioned and cried out for for YEARS…that remain unanswered…and I have some issues with procrastination in goals and ineffectiveness in service and paralysis in progress that definitely need a touch from the Lord. (Maybe “touch” is too mild…perhaps a sledge-hammer from the Lord would be more appropriate). And there are some healings that need to happen.
So if I feel even a twinge of conviction about anything in me that might be causing the roadblock, I am quite open to the chastisement of the Lord.
As I read the teaching, I sat my pen down and dug deep down in my heart to see if I was carrying any unforgiveness for anyone.
Nothing really came to mind….but I can be very deceptive about my sin….and since I still felt a nagging to NOT move on to the next reading, I reread the devotional writing.
Derek Prince talks about forgiveness being like tearing up an IOU.
So I sat there at my end of the table, with my books spread out and I asked God….
Is there anyone for whom I am still carrying an IOU for what they might have done intentionally or accidentally to me or to someone I love?
Some faces floated up.
And with them, the tale of rejection or betrayal or offense festered up with all the details clearly recorded….because I have rehearsed them many a time….
I even have friends who could tell you some of these stories themselves because they have heard them…over and over…
And the one thing that all of these have in common is that these are the hurts that never went acknowledged.
These are the slights that either the offender was not aware of, or did not care enough to try and mend.
I guess you could say…they don’t know what they did…which sounds familiar to me….
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34
And there is my example for forgiving.
There is the standard.
So I am taking some time to examine those faces again.
The ones that when I see them in real time or in my memory, bring back the original hurt with a stabbing pain…
and with God’s help…
and by faith I am tearing up the IOU’s…
I am admitting that I am one who is the recipient of MUCH forgiveness and who am I to withhold it from anyone else?
It’s a process. I know that…but the first step is acknowledging I have been toting a grudge and to say, audibly, into the ghosts of offenses past:
I forgive you for what you did to me. I do not hold you accountable to me for anything. You owe me nothing. If you actually did sin against God (cause sometimes what I find hard to forgive is really just my own perception of a wrong….ouch), then I ask God to forgive you as well.
Easy? In some cases, yes…in others, no.
Worth it? Definitely
May God help us as we put His Word to work in our lives <3