I was watching Longmire reruns when I heard this line, “Forgiveness is not a natural thing for most people.” That is true. When we get rejected or laughed at or betrayed it is not the first thought that comes to mind.
We are human after all. The first thought is more like:
I’m gonna get you for that
I will never forgive you
I will never trust you ever again
I can’t wait to get my revenge
No wonder Jesus had so much to say about forgiveness.
Have you ever met someone who refuses to forgive someone? They are angry, they are bitter, and they are stuck. You know, they repeat the same old story about how somebody wronged them every time you see them. They refuse to let it go. They gossip, they cut others down, and they stir up drama – all to get the focus off themselves. They blame everybody for everything. It’s sad really. You know they are miserable.
I have known people who harden their hearts and develop a root of bitterness. Roots grow deep. Once this happens they lose their joy and hope. You can’t tell them anything because they don’t want to hear it. They poison the lives of those they touch. They bring strife, division, and even hatred.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; – Hebrews 12:14-15 NKJV
So what should we do?
Repent of any unforgiveness in our hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind those we have not yet forgiven.
Forgive them and forgive yourself for holding on to it.
Pray for the person you had a resentment against. Yes, pray for them. Ask God to bless them. Then you will be free of it.
Trust God to deal with it. “Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay.” Let God take care of it. Trust Him to make it right.
What they did may be wrong. But so you really want to be stuck there forever? Do you really want to be tied to that wrong forever? God can’t deal with them or make it right until you let it go.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15
Have you ever run across someone who blatantly refuses God? Or becomes angry when you come to The Lord? Yeah, me too. Many times the Abuser gets jealous of a woman’s relationship with God and God’s people. They suddenly realize they are not on the throne anymore. The Abuser is not God. No matter how many times he tells you he is. It’s a lie.
You can tell this was written from my angry days. From when I wish he would just go away. It is normal to be angry when someone you thought was supposed to love you treats you that way. It wasn’t love. It was abuse. If you are living in a violent relationship, get help today. Get out while you still can. And heal, with God’s help.
Here’s an old poem I found from my journals when I was living in Domestic Violence.
Lies piled on lies. I’m not feeling very joyful today. Guess it’s time for a ‘rant.’ I am so tired of the lies. My ex, the abuser in my past, keeps lying. He is not a part of my life, with the exception of the kids we had together. I have full placement and full custody. Yet, he still has visitation rights. Yipee. Now I know he is their father but why won’t he treat them better than he treated me? I really get mad when he lies to them!
Long story short, he thought he would play the ‘hero’ a year or so ago. He bought the kids both iPhones. They already had phones. It cost me $300 to cancel that contract. And he paid their phone bill for about a year. Or come to find out, his new girlfriend did. Yep, he takes kids to Disneyland, buys two new vehicles, gets a new house, new furniture. And here we sit again – no child support and more lies.
Well, girlfriend #1 must have caught on. I tried to warn her. But guess what? Big surprise. He took money from her too. I recently found out that he got a judgement and garnishment for $5000 from the girlfriend. It’s on CCAP. He told the kids he broke up with her. Yeah right.
Then he goes and gets another girlfriend. And she funds his ‘business’ for another 6 months. Until she gets the garnishment from girlfriend #1. Girlfriend #2 pays him with a rubber check. NSF. She probably wised up and stopped payment on the check. Why do I care? I don’t. But now he doesn’t pay the kids phone bills and their phones get turned off. And he has told them everyday that, “I’ll turn them on tomorrow.” Yeah right. It’s been almost 2 weeks now. But you know, he will turn them on tomorrow, as he calls on HIS new phone. Lies. All lies. And he is blaming it on the check. Like the check is alive and it’s all the checks fault.
And I get to pick up the pieces. And I get to go buy new trackphones. With time. I don’t want to commit to another contract and have to do that again. Great. Once again mom gets to fix it. While he sits and blames everyone else and piles up the lies. I am so sick of this I could just puke.
Four elements that can lock up a heart, keeping delight out and darkness in. Resentment, the cocaine of the emotions. Anger, the destroyer of joy. Your heritage- the straitjacket of expectation. Declining faith- the marauder of hope.” ~ Max Lucado
You can read more of Max’s thoughts on how to open a locked heart here:
(Just a sidenote for those of you who have been in abusive relationships. Forgiveness does NOT mean I will let him hit me again. I had a very twisted view of what Forgiveness meant. I thought that I was supposed to just ‘forgive and forget’ and let him do it again and again – 70 x 7 right? Wrong. My forgiveness towards my abusers meant I would not take revenge, nor put myself or my children in harm’s way, but that I would trust GOD to deal with him. I had to let go of the ending – and walk away. I was not his Savior, I was not going to change him, it was not my job. My warped thinking kept me hostage for a long time. More to come on this area!)