There is a lot going on in my family, a lot I probably don't even know the details of...and really don't want to know. I fallen into this circle of unforgiveness and bitterness and was ok there until I asked someone...a few someones to pray for me. I woke up today and boy oh boy did someones prayers get through. Conviction is a horrible yet wonderful thing. It makes you hurt, breaks your heart but heals it all at the same time.
So I woke up, read some scripture and then got on line to make for easy searches and to read others opinions on what God says about forgiveness.
Been a tearful day, sad day in a way. I harbored unforgiveness for a while now and it is so unlike me I am usually the first to forgive and forget...but, I have been weary and I know Satan took that opportunity to get a foot hold in my heart and my walk and it ENDS today Mr. Mayor of HellTown!
The scriptures I read this morning before I even got out of bed...
12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering;
13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
I got on the computer and looked up "What does the Bible say about forgiveness" and the first on the list mentioned these scriptures.
God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! He is not talking about what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God. Forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God has given us specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him. God's love for us is beyond our comprehension. Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. Forgiving others does not carry with it a single decision that we need to ponder. God has not qualified one sin as being more grievous to Him than another and He has not qualified one sin committed against us as warranting forgiveness and another not. For example, God is not saying, "If a person lies to you or steals from you, you should forgive him, but if they abuse you or harm your child, you can hold them in unforgiveness." He is saying to forgive everyone, always, and do it immediately.
I have been upset with people for not being here for mom, for treating other family members badly, for more things than I care to mention. But looking at it right now, after asking God for my own forgiveness...I can see where I was wrong, I was the one hurting my own witness, my own heart. Keeping all that unforgiveness just made me unhappy...the ones I felt had done these things probably don't even realize they had warranted my unforgiveness. So the only one really hurting here was...ME! God charged me today with forgiveness and that without it I wouldn't be headed for Heaven if not for His forgiveness of all of our sins, so who am I not to grant the same grace and forgiveness to people...most of all family. I love my family so much and to have that love tainted with unforgiveness had brought me to tears more than once. At the end of the day, when all is said and done...the money, things, mean nothing if I don't have my family to share it with.
This weekend I spoke with a lot of extended family members who commented how special our family is. Our family being my parents, brothers, sister in laws and nieces and nephews. They talked about how close we ALL are and how that is rare and we should cherish it. I thought in my mind...ohh if you only knew. We are putting on a great act I guess. I love my family and other than Scott and God there is none that I love more. But, funny how that love has gotten conditional on others being perfect, being attentive, being what I expect. I can't do that. They can't do that, but I can't control anyone but myself and really God should be in control.
This is my prayer today Lord...Father God, please forgive me and God please give me the peace and the ability to forgive my family for anything I feel has hurt me. Father God, if there are any more stored up negative feelings in me toward my family, I ask that you cleanse me. I will be open to replace these negative emotions with the fruit of your Holy Spirit. Father, Your Holy Word tells us that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb,Jesus Christ, and the word of our testimony. I now plead the blood of Jesus over my unforgiveness. Lord, do not allow Satan to interfere with my testimony. Heavenly Father, I ask that you help me regain the ground that I gave up when I held onto this unforgiveness. I ask that you take back this ground and no longer allow Satan to operate there. Give me wisdom to deal with this situation in the future. Father, I ask that you heal now the wounded places in my soul. Heal my memory of those offenses so that I can look back on them realistically, knowing that You have healed me. Now Father, I ask that you bless my family with Your abundant mercy.Prosper him/her in every way: body, soul, and spirit. AMEN.
So I have prayed and cried all day and you know what, God has given me that peace I needed for this situation. It is such a relief that forgiveness brings. It totally releases you from the pain when you sincerely pray to God to take it away and put forgiveness all in my heart. And he did.
Time goes by and we lose those minutes with our family, those seconds...they turn into hours and days and weeks and months...years. I look back through pictures and remember the happy times and see that one or more of my family were not at this get together and I wonder was it me? Was there something that kept them from coming that stemmed from an argument or from hurt feelings. I love the pictures and they make me smile mostly until I realize who wasn't there.
I love my family, I cherish every one of them. We don't all have to agree all the time, but we are charged by OUR God to forgive and love one another. And it is a sin not to, and that sin is just as much a sin if I had stole a car or killed a man.
I just want our family to be happy again and to know that if someone isn't there for dinner it is because they are working or just can't be there not because they are avoiding, upset, hurt. Mark can't be there for obvious reasons, and it hurts...but it hurts just as much to know family is down the street and chose not to come to dinner or church or a function.
I know not many family really read this, it is more for me to let it all out I guess.
Whew...just feels like a fresh spring day in my heart...shoulders feel lighter and though my eyes are red from crying, they are brighter anyways!