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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