A few years ago, it came to my attention that my actions, though well intended, had offended and caused an extended family member to respond in an extremely angry way.
They ignored my attempts at communication until I was finally able to face them in an attempt to humble myself and seek forgiveness. My desire to demonstrate kindness toward yet another family member had sparked a storm of anger, resentment and bitter words.
When I sought to apologize and make the relationship right, I received a contemptuous, red-faced reaction that caught me off guard with my loved one, a professing Christ follower. I don’t remember ever being spoken to with such malicious, anger and, spewing of bitterness and rage. Nothing I said would diffuse the moment of intensity.
I begged forgiveness, but it was not extended.
While my heart was wounded and broken by the ordeal, I went before the Lord to seek His forgiveness for my wrongdoing. According to His Word, He forgave me and assured me I had done what is taught in the Word and I felt no conviction in regard to the hones, integrity of kindness my heart feels toward my other family member.
I was simply caught between a web of deceit, manipulation and pride between the other two.
When God forgives, it is more than “mustering up a genuine compassion” for us. He is known for His great compassion and mercy and longs to show kindness toward us. 1First John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Psalm 103:12 reminds us He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. Hebrews 8:13 states He remembers them no more.
He does not stay mad or keep us on the hook.
When it comes to forgiveness, Psychology Today says that the nature of forgiveness is “Mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, instead of allowing anger toward them to eat away at us.” “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/forgiveness
I am thankful that God never has to “muster up the courage” to forgive. He has already done the finished work of forgiveness at the cross. It is simply ours for asking and receiving.
I had to choose to rest in His embrace of grace even when my loved one could not muster up the courage to let go of an offense, choosing instead to hold a grudge, pretending the angry, ugly encounter never happened. There is still an uncertainty in this relationship. I am never sure of where I stand with them. However, I am confident that I stand before God as His beloved daughter, fully loved, fully graced and fully forgiven.
One of my favorite songs I enjoy while driving to and from work reminds me of the lavish love God has given me and I am encouraged to extend the same
RESPONSE: Is someone in need of your forgiveness today? Just as you have been forgiven, do the same for others.
How can we pray for you? Leave us a comment.
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