Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'll Eventually Get It...

Forgiveness. *sigh*...So much meaning is one little word. The concept is something that I think maybe I've always struggled with.


The dictionary definitions says..."To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon. To renounce anger or resentment against."


I get the definition....it's the putting it into practice deal that I get stuck on, sometimes.


In my head forgiveness looks like this:

  1. Someone causes an offense: I get hurt, angry, resentful etc.

  2. When they realize the offense (without me saying anything, of course) they immediately come to me, apologize and beg for mercy.

  3. I, of course, forgive, and completely let it go

  4. Restoration.

Why it looks like that in my head, I do not know. What I do know, is that 99% of the time that is not what forgiveness looks like. Forgiveness is messy, and hard. It does not fit neatly into 4 steps.

Most of the time, people will not even know they have hurt us. Most of the time, even if they know it, they will not make the first move or even admit wrong. Most of the time, I say I've forgiven, but I have not really let it go. And sometimes, forgiveness does not mean restoration. Hard stuff.

Here's what God is teaching me (over and over and over...eventually I'm bound to get it :)...

  • I need to forgive, regardless of the other persons actions. Jesus didn't wait for me to get my act together before He offered me forgiveness.

  • withdrawing my love and giving the silent treatment is not a healthy way to react and will definitely not help in forgiving or bringing restoration to a relationship. It will lead to bitterness.

  • No amount of hurt someone causes me, personally, compares to my sin against God...yet He gave up His only son...for me.

OK, so now you get my freshest real life example...


I spent the last week being ticked at my little brother (whom I happen to adore.) He hurt me (unintentionally) and, being the mature grown-up that I am, I reacted by leaving him some sarcastic comments on Facebook and then withdrew. I know, try not to be too impressed by my high standard of maturity.

My hubby's sermon Sunday night was on forgiveness. Yeah. I heard God speaking to me LOUD and clear. It was time to do things differently.

This time, I knew I needed to share with him why I was hurt, and then let him know that I was going to forgive...let it go...for both of us. Can I tell you how much better that is than holding it in?!?

His response...unbelievable for a 19 year old. He left me a note on my wall of Facebook (which means everyone can see) apologizing. I, being me, bawled! Restoration...the way God designed it.

I pray that when the table is flipped, and I'm the one that needs to apologize, I can be the grown-up like him.

Man, God has His hands full with me...glad He is so, SO BIG! :)

15 comments:

  1. What a sweet and tender story. Be reassured...this is something we all struggle with!

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh yeah, I think that way too, "beg me, please. You must show that you need me....beg me". And when they don't....ummm.....I at least feel superior....boy do we have a patient God.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I too am glad that God is so BIG! Thanks for sharing with us, it is a great example of God working in your life. You have such a tenderheart for God, it is obvious to me that you are following hard after Him. And sometimes, I amaze myself with the maturity of my actions too:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. As of late, God keeps reminding me, "Take it to the cross". Jesus is the perfect example! He was blameless, and yet he extended forgiveness to all who had, have, and will wrong Him.
    I HATE it when I am prompted to seek reconciliation with someone who has wronged me. I would much prefere to wait and let them grovel, but God has proved time and again it is for my best and His glory for the matter to be handled quickly and in a godly manner.
    I am praying for you! I know it's not easy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am so glad I am not the only one that acts that way sometimes.;o)

    I wish I was quick to forgive instead of holding on...and for what?

    Thanks for the post today Sarah. You are great!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just as the Song says . . .

    MY GOD IS SO BIG, SO STRONG AND SO MIGHTY THERE'S NOTHING MY GOD CANNOT DO!
    MY GOD IS SO BIG, SO STRONG AND SO MIGHTY THERE'S NOTHINH MY GOD CANNOT DO!
    THE MOUNTAINS ARE HIS, THE VALLEYS ARE HIS, THE SKIES ARE HIS HANDIWORK TOO!
    MY GOD IS SO BIG, SO STRONG AND SO MIGHT THERE'S NOTHING MY GOD CANNOT DO - FOR YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Friend...there's not a one of us out here who doesn't struggle with this one! I am learning the same lessons. Hang in there and keep your head in the Word.

    Kelli

    ReplyDelete
  8. Precious story. I've often walked in these shoes dear girl.

    I can usually forgive quickly those who are repentant, but often REALLY struggle to forgive those who have hurt me that are not.

    Praise God He loves us without condition and forgives and forever forgets! = )

    Blessings,
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sarah, you crack me up! You never change and I love you for it. For some reason this made me think of when you borrowed my sweater without asking and I got so mad about it! haha! Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great relationship you have with your brother!! It has ups and downs but you ultimately get it right! I hope my kids can do this someday.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for your honesty. It is so helpful to know that we are not alone in our quest to be more like Christ. It is also helpful to know that we are not alone in messing up in our quest :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. The one thing that comes to my mind is that Our God is Almighty and he works everything to his Glory. I love you for being so honest. love mom

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful post, Sarah. Forgiveness is so , so hard. ANd yet not impossible with Christ, nothing He calls us to do is impossible with Him. How awesome is that truth!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Sarah. I am running late for work this morning, so I allowed myself ONE -this is so hard! - only ONE blog reading this morning. I chose yours, and I am so glad I did! This post was exactly what I needed today. I am out of my blogging groove, as you put it, too. Life is so busy right now! :) Welcome Summer! Hope you are doing well in tiny town. Thanks for making my morning. I'd better run if I want to still have a job when I race into the office this morning! ;) Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good morning Sarah. I am wrestling this out with God, too.
    I am on my way to the gym, and will be pondering this thought on the elliptical.
    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, you make blogging fun. :) If your comment doesn't appear right away, it's because it's awaiting moderation, but it will show up soon!