Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Revisiting Forgiveness

Just when I think I have this forgiveness thing under control, it rears its ugly head once again. Last night something was said by one of my girls that planted the seed of unforgiveness in my heart. The thing about the seed of unforgiveness is that it takes very little cultivation for it to grow wildly out of control.

Let me say here that Jason had not done anything. It stemmed from that one simple comment. Then I began to think about other comments that had been said. That led to thinking about accusations that had been made over the last six months. Then I started thinking about things that I thought should have been said but were not said. All these things didn't come into my mind at one time. They would work their way in and out all through the day.

Here is the thing about all the thoughts I was having. Jason and I have dealt with these things. He has apologized, and so have I. We have chosen to forgive each other for the things that were said and done in the heat of the moment. So why am I resurrecting all these memories? Why am I clinging to them today and allowing myself to sink back into the pit of bitterness? Because in that moment, it feels good.

I love living near the beach. There is just nothing like sitting there looking at the waves and God's magnificent creation. As soon as a warm enough day arrives, I am there! On those first few days of spring, the wind is blowing, and it actually feels very comfortable. As a matter of fact, I usually don't even break a sweat. It just feels great. All the while, my body is baking away. I don't even realize it because in this moment it just feels so good to be out there. But by the time the evening rolls around, I am feeling the pain of sunburn. How in the world did I do this to myself? Because at the time it felt great. Once I realized that I had too much sun, it was too late. The damage was done!

It reminds me of this whole concept of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is so deceptive. It infiltrates my mind and then takes over my emotions. All the while, I feel good about it. I am justified in feeling this way. I deserve to be mad, and I am going to bask in it for a while. But eventually, those emotions start taking their toll on me. I begin to think about them more frequently. Before I realize what has happened, they have consumed me. I have seen people literally allow their lives to be destroyed by unforgiveness. If it is not dealt with, it will eat your soul alive.

I am far from that point, but I am wise enough to know that if I don't deal with this, I am going to have a real problem on my hands. I went outside to cut the grass. There is no better way to think than on a riding lawn mower. I absolutely love that time. I was almost done, and I realized something. I had spent almost the entire time focusing on and thinking about those negative thoughts. This had to stop, and I was the only one who could make it stop.

In that moment, I looked up to the heavens. I said, "God, I give this situation to you. Who am I to be putting conditions on forgiveness? I ask you to take this from me. Please take the negative feelings, the bitterness and the anger. I want to move forward not backward." Guess what? He took it from me, and it feels so good to let it go!

Will I pick it back up again? Probably. I am sure the enemy will try to use another memory, thought, or comment to plant that seed again. But if I will take every thought captive, I can destroy all the "bad" seeds of unforgiveness well before they destroy me!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (New Century Version)
We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy's strong places. We destroy people's arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.

I love that last line! That is the only way to do it, my friends. Seize those thoughts and give them to the One who can handle them!

1 comment:

  1. Knowing that I needed to keep negativity away on an important day, I stopped and forced myself to remember the importance of my daily devotional. The verse I turned to was, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man." (Matthew 15:19-20) Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Thanks for the reminder that it is only with His help and guidance that I'm able to keep my mind on the eternal value and purpose!