“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach wisdom in the inmost place.” Psalm 51:6
You’ve been hurt.
But, you’re polite as a good Christian should be. You smile and speak kind words, all the while your heart is seething with unspoken anger.
As the psalmist wrote, “surely you desire truth in the inner parts.”
It’s hard to reconcile deep hurt and Christian behavior: forgiveness. True forgiveness.
Forgiveness that says I can genuinely speak and smile, and mean it.
How do we get there?
1) Admit you’re hurt.
Admit the facts to yourself and to God. Acknowledge your anger before your anger acknowledges you, and your temper explodes at the wrong place, at the wrong time, to the wrong person. (Recall James’ admonishment: do not slander.) Remember 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” Notice it says “ALL”. Even when we think things are insignificant, they still matter to God.
2) Ask God to help you deal with it. Without getting stuck in a “yuck zone”, where the focus is on all things negative, give each hurtful word, deed and slight directly to God. When those things return to your mind, force them out. (Recall Philippians 4:8). God is bigger than those things, allow Him to take them!
3) Refuse to let those feelings consume you. Don’t allow them to intrude on your daily life. Wake up and give God your day. Jump into it, with both feet, your heart and your mind. Do whatever God has given you to do with a cheerful heart and positive thoughts. When you trust God and go about what He has called you to do, you are resisting Satan. (James 4:7) Satan wants more than anything to dump you into the pit of despair, immobilized, unable to do what God has called you to do. Don’t let him take you there.
The point is, you don’t need to be the offender’s best friend. But harboring a grudge will distance you from God.
As difficult as it feels and as significant as the hurt seems, we are called to forgive.
Yet Christ is not telling us we are to forgive on our own. He can change hearts, He can take away the hurt.
“His grace is sufficient.” II Corinthians 12: 9
If only we learn to surrender.
How do you reach that place of forgiveness, when your initial reaction is quite the opposite?
Please share your experiences with us! Please return by Tuesday, June 4, for the next post.