It’s Your Call – A Follow-Up

 

 

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

“Was it a once and for all watershed moment, w/ occasional tests to your resolve, or has it been a gradual healing?” 

 

I think DM’s  questions in his comment to my previous post deserve a follow-up.   I’ll try to do that without starting to rant… 

 

 First of all, DM, my answer is Yes. 

 

Yes, it was a watershed moment. 

 

Yes, with occasional tests to my resolve. 

 

And, Yes, it has been a gradual healing. 

 

It really was a “Eureka!” moment when I realized I could go either way in my outlook about my childhood.  I just decided it was more fun, and more pleasant – and more healing – to choose to enjoy those years in my memory.  I did not want to keep carrying the baggage.

 

It was a growing thing, though, too, to realize that getting free of bitterness requires forgiveness.  It has taken years to learn how – and why – to forgive.  On issues where it seemed impossible to forgive, I learned two sobering lessons:

 

            1.)  The greater the depth of one’s understanding of one’s own need to be forgiven, the easier it is to forgive others. 

 

When we’re stuck with unforgiveness, we only need ask God to show the depths of our own sinfulness.  Then, be prepared, because He can go deep!  It can be very scary.  And humbling.  Devastating, actually,  But, trust Him, it’ll make it easy to forgive others. 

 

           2.)  Unforgiveness isn’t just about what we think of our enemy.  It is a statement about what we think of Jesus.  When we will not forgive, we are  telling Jesus that what He went through…His sacrifice, His excruciating suffering and death…were not enough.  We are telling Him that, in our book, He comes up short.  We are telling both the Father and Jesus that His blood wasn’t adequate to remove our enemy’s sin.

 

It must not be adequate to remove our’s, then, either. 

 

There is also one more, “Yes,” DM, to a question which you didn’t ask…

 

Yes, it is an ongoing challenge. 

 

Stuff still happens.  I must continue to decide to reject bitterness and unforgiveness.  

 

And I must decide to trust God.    Daniel understood this: 

 

“And when Daniel was lifted from the (lion’s) den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”  Daniel 6:23 NIV

 

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6 Responses

  1. I agree with what you say. Forgiveness, I find, is the hardest challenge for me. I find that I can hold onto hate so long that it destroys my perception of another human being. And it’s bad and ugly.

    The Lord has been good to chip away at the wall, but i’ve also discovered that its a decision, like you said. I got to decide to forgive others, because what right have I to hold grudges when God has plenty on me to never forgive me… and yet He does, which is a miracle and really unimaginable. I wouldn’t even forgive myself if I knew what God knew about me.

  2. This is exactly what my devotional was on this morning….forgiveness. You covered it so beautifully!

  3. I had so many questions and so many thoughts on your original post. I too, was intrigued by DM’s questions. I’m so glad you answered them, and answered them the way you did. I don’t have any more questions for you. I better, more fully understand what you are saying.

    I think you have to heal and grow before you get to that AHA moment. Some people may need help getting there. A good therapist can help you parse out your feelngs and actions and tie them back to some angers or resentments.

    Oh, and one other thing about forgiveness: it rots YOU away, the person who doesn’t forgive.

    Thanks for another great post.

  4. Grace,
    That was the most beautiful expression I have heard of unforgiveness and how we really don’t believe Jesus enough to forgive. I have never heard it expressed the way you expressed it. It moved me to want to forgive. I have been through lots of lessons on forgiveness and I think you explained better than any Bible study or conference I have been to. Thanks for sharing.

  5. one of our former pastors used to put it like this..sanctification was an initial big “yes” followed by several uh-hu moments. (ie continue to affirm your intial decision and understanding)…thanks for your honest and transparent life! Dm

  6. In “Tramp for the Lord”, Corey Ten boom describes an instance where she is confronted by a German prison guard who was instrumental in her sister’s death at the prison camp. The guard asks for forgiveness and held his hand out to her.

    As she stood there, Ten Boom realized she could not forgive him. There was too much pain involved. What she did was prayed, “Lord in myself, I can never forgive him. But if you give me the grace to forgive him, I will.”

    She was flooded with grace and a love for the guard…and forgave him.

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