But she/he cheated on me?
But they lied to me?
But they stole from me?
But they gossiped about me?
But they hurt my feelings?
But they broke their promise?
But they have forgotten me?
Which one of these
Not the offender's freedom...your own!
So many people hurt. Hurt people -Hurt people. You've heard that...nothing new here. But have you applied this to your situation?
Let's look at the 'reasons' from above:
*She broke your heart and cheated on you. Yet...God still forgives you of adultery/idolatry. Yes, I said adultery/idolatry in the form of having other things/people/gods before Him.
*He lied to you and now you can never trust him. Yet...God still forgives your own form of deception/lies. (Don't think I don't know some of you have an 'Innocent secret' or two. Now go get that hidden stash of chocolate out of the drawer and put the shirt you bought out in the open not in the back of the closet since you both agreed on a budget!)
*They stole from you. Yet...You have taken...stolen... an idea, time away from God, tithes belonging to God, actually theft of material property or for some of you plagiarism...stepping on toes...yep!
*They gossiped about you. Yet...you listened to them intently last time they talked about someone else, and yes, God has forgiven you...because you asked Him.
*They hurt your feelings. Yet...God has forgiven you many times of this very thing. A misplaced look, an ill timed or harsh word, and any number of other ways we have hurt each other- have been covered by Grace.
*They broke a promise to you. Yet...God has forgiven your many broken promises, and yes you have broken a promise whether you meant to or not. How do I know? Ummm....HUMAN!
*They forgot about you. Yet...God, in His overwhelming mercy has waited for you on occasion to come sit quietly with Him. Have you ever forgotten to thank Him? To spend time with Him?
I know all these devastating hurts are difficult to move past. "It takes time" we hear.
"No one understands" we think. "I am not ready to forgive, I am hurt" you say.
"None of this applies to me...I'm fine" you say.
"But those other things are petty compared to adultery" you're thinkin' right now.
It is a common lie to say adultery is only a sexual sin.
It is actually also theft.
It steals, murders, and destroys.
It steals some one's heart and body not intended for you, murders marriages, and destroys the spirit of one you cheated on.
I am not asking you to give a blessing or condone or overlook. We are to confess our sins one to another and ask God to forgive and then ask those we have hurt to forgive us. Oh, and by the way...STOP IT!
Some of you reading this think "these things don't happen to good people or favored people".
We see some folks lives and think they have it easy and they have such an accomplished life and yet can't help think, "Why am I stuck in this place of broken.
...while their life seems so easy."
Please don't be fooled. Even in Christian or "churchy" circles it is very easy to mistake accomplishment for goodness. Even accomplished Hurt Christians...hurt Christians.
Without confession of our sins and the forgiveness that was extended to us on a cross over 2000 years ago, we have no goodness. Even when we know this, we can still make choices that hurt one another. Jesus addressed this so often by telling us how we are to treat ONE ANOTHER and one of the things we are to do is to FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER.
Everyone has had someone hurt them or disappoint them. The choice to stay hurt is up to the one unwilling to forgive. The choice...is up to YOU!
We have to stop classifying sins into categories such as sexual sins, emotional sins, petty sins. PETTY sins don't exist. Sin...IS SIN.
I have had to ask forgiveness and extend it and at times it feels like chewing gravel. Do it anyway!
I am not in anyway saying to forgive and forget, no harm no fowl, and let's all just have a party and a round of Kumbaya. I am suggesting that the key that opens prison cells...your prison cell of bitterness, anger, disappointment, loneliness, shame, embarrassment, brokenness or any prison trapping you in an emotional cell, is the key of FORGIVENESS.
Trust God with the consequences to the other person. Trust God with the new path ahead when you are willing to let go.
Trust God that while we were yet sinners...Christ died for
Hurts...hurt. When friends hurt us, the hurt is too heavy to carry alone. Take it to Christ whose strength is sufficient.
Let us pray for each other...let us pray for ONE ANOTHER!
Who needs your forgiveness? Who do you need to ask for forgiveness?