for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.

Archive for the tag “forgiveness”

Reconciliation

In this post I want to share what I’ve been learning about forgiveness and reconciliation. The reality of what these two words mean for humanity and our relationships is truly profound. It’s not my truth. It’s God’s truth! And this is another great example of His majesty and His wisdom. He knows what our hearts need before we ever do!

Let’s start with forgiveness. I will assume that most of us understand forgiveness as a choice to let go of the hurt someone caused us. It doesn’t make the person, the words, or actions against us okay. It just means that we will not hold on to the hurt and seek retribution for ourselves. Let’s Take a look at what scripture says about forgiveness.

Mark 11:25 (NASB)
   “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that you’re father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”

Matthew 18:35 (NASB)
   “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.

This verse in Matthew is at the end of a story Jesus used to answer a question Peter asked about forgiveness. Please look it up and read it for yourself. My summary is that if you can’t forgive others, then God will not forgive you.
The verse in Mark, in my perspective, hints to the same truth, just a little nicer.

I have learned that forgiveness is HARD. It’s rigorous. It’s like climbing a mountain. I think I have forgiven someone and then they do or say something similar and all the hurt comes up again. I believe that this is a spiritual battle. I believe that we as Christ followers must choose to continue to forgive the person, even when we don’t feel it. I think we need to choose to not dwell on, verbally or mentally repeat the offenses over and over.

Don’t misunderstand me please…this is a complicated issue that a great book has helped me understand, Peacemaker by Ken Sande. All situations CAN NOT be handled the same. That’s why it’s like climbing the mountain. Every move is different. Every situation requires God’s specific instructions. Sometimes you forgive and forget without even mentioning it to the person. Other times you need to have a conversation, hopefully covered with prayer and love, and unfortunately sometimes you have to forgive that person and remove them from your life for a time or even forever. But that should not be decided in haste without God’s wisdom and truth.

Now that we have summarized forgiveness, please read more than this because I’m no expert, let’s talk about reconciliation. I believe that reconciliation is a huge part of relationship. Let’s face a simple truth here, we are all human. Not one of us humans are perfect. Which means, we are all going to cause someone else pain, frustration, and at the very least annoyance.

I believe that God wants us to love one another well. I believe that God wants us to reconcile with one another when we have hurt someone. I believe that
God wants us to reconcile when someone comes to us and says we have hurt them or offended them.

So what exactly is reconciliation. What does it look like. To me, reconciliation is when we take responsibility for our actions, our words, our facial expressions, our tones of voice, our lack of loving another person. Simply put, it means saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong to (fill in the blank)” I don’t think it matters what the intentions are at the time of the hurt. I think what matters is that we apologize, because we love and value the person we hurt. We value the relationship with that person, so we set aside our pride and let God’s love lead the way.

Here are some scriptures that have helped me come to the aforementioned conclusion.

Ephesians 4:17-32
Luke 7:23
Matthew 5:23-24

Like I said forgiveness is HARD, I think reconcilation can be even more difficult. One of our new favorite sayings in our house is, ” Do what is right, not what is easy.”

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Forgiveness

I’ve recently realized that I have a tendency to hold a grudge. I have a hard time forgiving people who hurt me. It’s not that I always want vengeance, but I wrestle with complete forgiveness.

I thought that when I became a Christian and learned to forgive my parents and my sister that I had mastered forgiveness. I didn’t think anyone would ever be able to hurt me that deeply that I would have to work that hard to forgive.

WOW…was I ever wrong. I’m learning that I must choose to continue to be teachable as life comes. Learning from the past will help, but ultimately I can not learn everything right now and just coast. At every step and turn I must walk in pace with God and learn what He wants me to learn in that moment.

I’m learning that I need time and space from those who hurt me. I need time with God away from others. I need to let God’s love heal me and empower me to forgive others.

(I’m learning that I need to find another word for learn!)

Here are some songs that God has been using to speak His truth and transform my heart.

Forgiveness, by Toby Mac

Forgiveness, by Matthew West

O God forgive us, by For King and Country

Rebecca 🌻 Posted from WordPress for Android

Time

Time…it’s the only resource that is completely limited. No matter who you are, no matter how much money you do or don’t make…there are only 24 hours in each day.
We hear cliches that time is money…it’s one of my favorite leveraging cliches…maximize your time, take your time, time heals all wounds…

Time heals all wounds. Time? Heals? ALL wounds? Is that even biblical? Well I’m learning to believe that it is. I don’t think it’s the time in itself. I think it is what God does in our hearts in that time.

Let’s look at some stories of God’s people in the bible. Please take some time to read these stories in more depth and see how God speaks to you through them.

The first story that I’ve seen God use time apart because of human selfishness is with Jacob and Esau. In Genesis 27-30 we find that Jacob steals Esau’s blessing. This enrages Esau to the point that he desires to kill his brother. It was the final straw that broke Esau’s heart. Through manipulation of Rebeckah, Jacob is sent away to get a wife. He is gone for at least 14 years.
For several reasons, Jacob decides to go back home.  As Jacob is returning to the land of his father…he is hesitant. 

Genesis 33 unfolds the meeting of these 2 brothers. Jacob is fearful and desperately trying to win favor from Esau. The beauty of God is revealed when Esau runs to Jacob, hugs him, and kisses him! Time healed Esau’s heart. He no longer desired to kill Jacob. He loved his brother.

Another story of brothers just one generation later involves Joseph, Jacob’s most favoured son. There are so many details and things to learn from this story, but I want to focus on Genesis 45:4-9. Joseph is able to forgive his brothers and love them despite what they had done to him years earlier.

Over the years Joseph kept himself humble before God, though he wasn’t humble as a young teenager before his brothers. This humility allowed him to receive God’s perspective of the entire situation. That same humility was the vessel that brought God’s peace to Joseph. It was the time apart that allowed Joseph to become what God intended him to become. Time and God not only made the man, but it changed his heart and set him free. God’s time, healed Joseph.

The last story I want to share comes from the book of Joshua chapter 20. The cities of refuge. The people have entered the promised land and God is giving instruction to organize and settle His people. I love that God knows us so well. He knows that we aren’t perfect and we make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes aren’t such a big deal…but other mistakes can be treacherous.
So God tells the people to set up cities of refuge. A city that a person can run to in the event that they accidentally kill a person. The city must hear the story of the guilty party and THEN, they must protect him from the blood avenger of the dead. He must live in that city until his trial AND until the high priest at that time dies.
I think this is so profound in many ways.  The person could wait an entire lifetime! I find it amazing that there is no set prescribed number of years to wait. It allows room for God’s sovereignty. Only God knows our hearts, our hurts, and our hesitations.  No person can decide for another when there has been enough time. Time to grieve, time to heal, and time to repent.

I believe that when we humble our hearts and our minds before the living God, He will transform us. When I confess my pride, my critical thoughts, my doubts, my fears, my hurt, and my selfishness…when I surrender those things…I see the toxins they really are. It is in those moments of honesty with God that my heart is moved to repentance. Once my heart desires repentance then my mind and my heart are free to be transformed by God’s perfect truth. This all happens in His perfect timing! I believe that God uses time as His tool to help change the hearts of His people!

Be free my brothers and sisters! Choose His freedom!

Rebecca 🌻 Posted from WordPress for Android

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for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.