this is a tough post to even write. this is one of the characteristics of love i have the hardest time with. this is something that if i relied completely on my own feelings, i would hardly ever give. because every fiber of my being says that when someone does me wrong, they should pay for it. i'm just being honest.
but then i'm convicted. the Holy Spirit brings to my attention, almost immediately, some of the things i've been forgiven of. i think of the friends and family that have forgiven me for things i've said and done. and then i think of the One who has forgiven me for everything. everything. y'all that is a loooooottttttt of forgiving...trust me!
when i'm in a place i don't want to offer forgiveness to someone, i turn to the only One i can for advice. and this is what He tells me...
hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses. proverbs 10:12
above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 peter 4:8
who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression..You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us, you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. micah 7:18-19
for we know the One who has said, "vengeance belongs to Me, i will repay," and again, the Lord will judge His people. Hebrews 10:30
i've learned through this study to remember that vengeance isn't mine, that belongs to God.
i've learned that anger needs to be a visitor not a resident. it's okay to be angry. it motivates us to confront the person who we feel has betrayed us and seek reconciliation. when we allow anger to take up residence, it makes us bitter.
i've learned when someone has wronged me and refuses to apologize, i can release that person to God. and even though there's no reconciliation, i can still move forward to becoming who He would have me to be.
on the flip side of showing forgiveness, i also want to become better about asking others for their forgiveness.
i need to learn to apologize for when i was wrong. and that doesn't mean that the other person in the situation was automatically right. it just means i want to recognize when i'm wrong and apologize for the way i behave.
like i said, this one is tough for me. i've been in situations where someone has asked me for my forgiveness. i've had seasons in my life where i've been betrayed in some of the biggest ways. and no one apologized. i've been in situations where i was the one apologizing or i needed to. whatever the case has been...they have all been hard. so i continue to work on this area in my life i feel God is bringing to my attention. i have hope it will get easier. i have hope that i will be able to offer what so many have given me. i have hope of becoming a better person. i have hope because that's what God's word tells me.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. isaiah 40:31