Sitting here with my dog eating some humble pie. I hate humble pie. I get to eat it often. This choice today is coming right from the table of experience. I think that is why I love my dogs so much. Life with them is simple. They listen. They don’t talk back and I don’t ever need to partake of humble pie with them. Anyway, today we are back to focusing on our spiritual and emotional well being and we are going to choose forgiveness.
I knew I wanted to write on this topic for a while, little did I know that God would bring something into my life that would make me have to put my money where my mouth is. I have had to forgive lots of people in my life. We all have – it’s a fallen world. It’s always been a struggle because I want to be right and I don’t want them to think that what they did was right.
We have been having some issues with some boys in our neighborhood and my neighbor. He brought something to my attention this week that had happened and I immediately tried to get to the bottom of it. It turned out it didn’t involve my son so in my mind the issue was done because there was really nothing I could do. Last night he started to give some of the boys a hard time – my son included. Enough said when it comes to this mama lion? So my husband and I went out and asked him to stop getting on the boys about something they didn’t do. He said some things that were not so nice. My husband and I became upset with him. Our tempers flared. We came back inside just overwhelmed. We looked at each other and we knew what we had to do. We walked back out the front door and rang his door bell and apologized. It was hard. We didn’t feel like we had done anything wrong but we did lose our temper but we blamed him for that. Ugh. I had to practice what I preach and I know from experience that even though at the time it is a hard thing it is the right thing and God will always honor when we do the right thing.
When we don’t choose to forgive bitterness takes root. It can be ugly. We will have huge offenses and hurts quite possibly from our child or our marriages or even just the small day to day offenses can cause us to become bitter. It is probably the most dangerous of all choices. It is the one we cling to because we are so afraid if we forgive that we are saying it’s ok. Forgiveness isn’t making the offense ok but I promise you that you will be better for it.
The forgiveness most often translated in the New Testament is aphiemi and it means “to send forth or away, to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go from one’s further attendance or occupancy. Wow just listen to that definition. We are letting it go. We are sending it forth or away. But do you know where we are sending it??? Straight to God. It no longer has to control us once we have given it over. There is such power in that. We actually become stronger because we are less bitter and it takes a whole lot stronger more powerful woman to forgive than it does to stew in bitterness. Mark 11:24-25 says whatever we have asked for in prayer we need to believe we have received it and it will be ours and when we stand praying if we hold anything against anyone, forgive him so your father in heaven may forgive your sins. Maybe our prayer lives would be more powerful if we had the ability to forgive quickly. I know this is tough stuff. I know there can be some very deep hurts. I have some of my own. My childhood had some real issues and I had to learn to forgive someone in my life and I had to learn to do it often. Even to this day feelings can rise or something can be said and I need to go back to forgiving this person all over again. Forgiveness is NOT a feeling we have. I don’t feel like necessarily forgiving this person in my life. I want to make that really clear it is not something you will feel it is something you will have to push past what you are feeling and do the hard thing anyway but when you do you will experience unparalleled victory and joy I promise you that.
So today’s Make a Choice Monday is tough. I pray that if you have any bitterness and unforgiveness in your life that you are able to work through it. May the victory be yours in Christ today!