Forgiveness More Than A Feeling
Recently, I was in a class and it was about forgiveness. I have heard people say that “forgiveness isn’t about them, it’s about you” or “God forgives, I don’t” or “God is going have to forgive them because I can’t “. Key word: *YOU*. Another key word: *I*.
Can you start to piece it together? Can you see that it’s easy to make something all about YOU instead of God? Never in the Bible does it say forgive because it’s to help YOU. Never did God say He’ll forgive people on your behalf and it’s okay to hold grudges until the day you die. However God did say forgive others as He has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). These new age quotes can get us in so much trouble because it sounds good to the ear but in actuality it’s a lie that keeps us from seeing things the way God wants us to. When we shift focus on ourselves, God sees it as arrogance or pride. Just this week I learned that I’m angry at God. As shameful as it is for me to say this, it is the truth. When I first met my mentor, I hid behind this floppy straw hat and shades. Now, those things I’m angry at God for—I tried hiding behind an invisible hat and glasses instead. I tried to justify it. A friend came across Job 36:8-10 and it’s been on my brain: “If people are bound in chains, or if trouble [affliction], like ropes, ties them up, God tells them what they have done, that they have sinned in their pride. He makes them listen [opens their ear] to his warning [instruction; discipline] and commands them to change from doing evil. If they obey [or listen] and serve him, the rest of their lives will be successful [their days will finish happily], and the rest of their years will be happy [pleasant]. But if they do not listen, they will die by the sword [or pass through the water channel; reference to death], and they will die without knowing why [in ignorance]. If you keep reading it talks about how the wicked hearts HOLD ON to anger.
If I’m honest, I can’t be mad at no one but myself. I did blame God for how things went for me. But it wasn’t Him that made those decisions. When I think about it, I remember choosing to do what I wanted and TOTALLY ignoring what God wanted me to do. Didn’t ask God what He thought I should do and went by my own thoughts and ways . As sucky as that is, God did just what He said He would do, which was tell me where I went wrong (OUCH) ??. It’s not a nice thing. In my search about anger, the first thing I saw was a picture front and center for James 1:20 “for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness “. Righteous anger is one thing, because you should be angry at anything that goes against The Father (Ephesians 4:26-27 “BE ANGRY [at sin—at immortality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior] YET DO NOT SIN; do not let your anger [cause you shame nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger or harboring resentment or cultivating bitterness].
To nurture something is to encourage, feed into. To cultivate is grow, plant, develop. Don’t feed anger that doesn’t have to do with righteous anger. Don’t feel entitled to holding bitterness or a grudge because someone did something to you or didn’t they didn’t do things your way. We’re not perfect and think about this—how many times we outright flaunted our nasty ways in God’s face? And of those times, did you want Him to forgive you for how you treated Him? If that’s the case, we can’t say we love God but can’t forgive others or hate His people. If we want God to forgive us, we have to forgive too. Let it go because we’ve sinned too. We’ve lied. We’ve schemed. We’ve manipulated. We’ve stolen. We’ve killed people spiritually/naturally, the list goes on. But just as God is willing to forgive us when we’re truly sorry, we should be willing to forgive too. And whenever you’re angry at God for whatever reasons (talking to myself as well), take a deep look at the pride/arrogance that put you in your situation . The beauty is that in the harsh but necessary correction, He heals.
Proverbs 20:30 EXB “Hard punishment will get rid of [cleanses away] evil and whippings [beatings] can change an evil heart [the inner parts]. “ Will it hurt? Yes. Is it necessary so we won’t stay the same? Super duper yes ??
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