Friday, September 5, 2008

Don't use the "F" word ....

Interestingly many of you are reading this post simply because of the title and have settled in to read a nice little rant about something that happened to me recently. You are probably ready for me to get on my "soap box" about an apparent use of a certain curse word that cause many of us to cringe or at least pull back a little when we hear it. I by no means plan to shock you in such a manner. For me the issue I have is with another "F" word. One that I hear more often than the other and because of my strong-will, I pull back and cringe by the very mention of it - but only when it involves me. I can throw the word around with the best of them when giving advice, offering hope, or just having a conversation that in no way, shape or form involves me personally. The word I am referring to is ..... FORGIVE! Just to write it, causes me to shudder because it takes away MY control in a situation. I don't get to hold onto something forever and keep it as ammunition later on when I really need it. I don't get to be ugly just because they did this to me. I don't get to take vengeance. I don't get to even hear them apologize at times. I don't get to do anything even though I feel that I am the victim. I simply must forgive. In the past, my way of dealing with areas of hurt in my life were to say "it's okay," exude a forgiveness type attitude and then proceed to push it deep down within me. I did all this without realizing that I wasn't actually forgiving the person or the act but just packing it away for safe keeping. I used the issues, afflictions, attacks, hurts and so on to build a nice wall for myself in which to keep others at bay. I had to the perfect plan until recently. Things started coming to mind that caused me to not only relive the hurt but to have a heart that began to fill with bitterness and resentment. To be honest, it is an area the Lord has been dealing with me on for the past couple of months. You see, I have allowed the past to impact my current growth in Him. The Bible tells us that we must forgive others in order for Him to forgive us. (Matt 6:14-16) OUCH!! That is not what I want to hear. I had a little conversation that went something like this with the Lord. "But, you don't know what they did to me." He replies "yes, I do." "You don't understand how I feel." He replies "yes, I do." "There is no way that I can forgive them." He replies "yes, you can. I forgave you." You see, what I had been overlooking was that Jesus has felt and experienced it all. He knows what it is like to be abandoned by his friends, even His own Father. (Matt 26:69-74, 27:46) He knows what it is like to not be able to count on others. (Matt 26: 36-45) He knows what it is like to be betrayed by those closest to Him. (Matt 26:14) He knows what it is like to questioned and scrutinized no matter His intention. (Matt 21: 23-27) He knows what it is like to go without, yet be tempted with everything. (Matt 4:1-10) He knows what is like to be unjustly accused and persecuted. (Matt 27:11-41) He knows what it is to have loved and lost.(Matt 14:1-13) He knows what it is like to sacrifice. (Matt 26: 39,42) He knows what it is like to live and to die.(Matt 27:45-50) He knows what it is like to forgive. (all my life... and yours) All this to "n"th degree and more than my issues. My arguments are futile. Bottom line, if Jesus can forgive me, you and the others out there far worse or far better than us, how can I not forgive and truly mean it? It is not easy, let me tell you but I am on the road to redemption. My first step has been to pray for the very people and situations that I thought I had forgiven when in reality I just locked them away. I can tell you that these prayers don't come easy at times. On many occasions, I have to pray to the Lord to give me the strength to keep the faith to keep praying. As a result of my obedience, not only will the situation or the persons be impacted by my prayers, I too will benefit emotionally, physically and spiritually. But most importantly, I will be in a right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, isn't that what it all about?

2 comments:

Sarah (alias Mimi) said...

True enough, forgiveness is tough to give. But we're really only hurting ourselves by holding out after all. ^_^

A happy heart at home said...

Forgiveness is such a huge need, both for the person needing it and the one giving it. Thanks for the encouragement to have a forgiving heart.

~Susan