Forgiveness Revisited.. Again..

I feel like there are select themes that God has to revisit in my life over and over again.  Maybe because I’m a little thick-headed or just stubborn, but most likely because I’m a rebellious little brat who throws temper tantrums more often than not.  I have a deep hard root of bitterness and pride in my heart that I keep ripping at and then covering over.. when I think about that I see this scene of an old lady in an insane asylum ripping up a rose bush and then planting it again, her mind completely set on one task until all of a sudden it is equally as completely set on the opposite one.  *sigh, I’m a freak.

So.  I’ve had a few conversations and seen a few situations recently that have caused me to really think long and hard about the way I interact with people when they hurt me (My normal tactic is hunker down behind my big stone wall and hurl grenades).

This is what I’ve been piecing together, I’m not going to try to write it out in a pretty way–just cold hard facts.

  • Jesus commands us to forgive as he has forgiven us.  (Matthew 6:14-15)  We tend to overlook that he says “..if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Hmmmmmmmm.
  • He doesn’t really talk about protecting yourself against emotional harm by shutting people out.  There goes my tactic.
  • Love your enemies (Matthew 5:42-48), turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).

This has been (and is) convicting me that I spend too much time thinking that I have rights and they can’t treat me that way and I HATE PEOPLE and less time fixing my eyes on Jesus and shoveling out love as fast as he can keep filling me up.  He gives grace to the humble, not to the ones who insist on everyone around them responding in such a way that they feel loved.  (I am feeling SO GUILTY right now.)

Theme #2 is perhaps my new favorite thing to think about, and it is this:  how does God continue to love us despite the direct slaps in the face that we deal him and without in any way letting us interfere with who he is and what he wants to do?  I need to be more like that, I let little offenses ruin my day/life, but Jesus was reviled and betrayed and hurt emotionally very deeply and yet he continued to love and give of himself and he didn’t let anyone else’s actions defer him from his goals.  How did he do that?

I will work on that in my next blog post, but in the meantime.. how do you think he did?  I’m going to try a little cliffhanger to force you to comment on my post, just so we are clear.  Please comment.  🙂

6 thoughts on “Forgiveness Revisited.. Again..

  1. Usually I hold onto my angry memories, while still acting nicely to the people who hurt me, just so I can tell myself, “I’m okay. I don’t have bitterness in me. Look how I’m always kind to them – that means I’ve forgiven them.”
    It’s called hiding from myself.

  2. I guess I don’t really think about the fact that Jesus was hurt deeply emotionally. I know he was human and had feelings, but I forget to remember. It’s comforting to know at least he knows how I’m feeling.

    You said that Jesus didn’t let the hurt deter him from his goal…sometimes I think my only goal is to keep everyone happy (which really is impossible and not very fulfilling at all). It’s a challenge to think that I should have a goal to press towards so when I do get hurt, I know its for a good reason.

    • When I think of Jesus’ goal I always think it was to die for our sins, which in a way it was, but that isn’t what I meant by saying that he didn’t let us deter him from his goals. He said he came to save us, love us, heal us and forgive us. If his goal had been semi-detached from the people who were hurting him it might have been easier, but when your goal is to love the person who just smacked you.. it is different. My anger/bitterness root makes it very hard to forgive people, but as my Mom always tells me, “imagine the blood of Jesus dripping off their noses.” Strange picture, but I guess in a weird morbidish way it helps me recognize the value that he sees in people despite their outward nastiness.

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