This year, I had a long-time friend make some choices that caused me and my family some deep heartache. The choices my friend made caused alot of damage in the lives of my loved ones. From a human viewpoint, we had a right to be very upset and perhaps even cause alot of trouble for my friend. After all, everything this friend once stood for was gone and not only was the friend getting into a dark hole, they were dragging some of my family with them. This was a friend I trusted and I respected. Again, I went through alot of emotions ranging from anger to sadness. Night after night, I would lie awake with an ache in my heart that I couldn't seem to shed. I cried out to the Lord over and over to deal with this person and give them freedom once again. One thing I couldn't escape from, was the Lord's Word. I would hear over and over.....Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
When the Lord speaks that clear, I just can't ignore Him. I thought of how Judas had betrayed Jesus and knew that the Lord understood my pain. Oh, Judas, you backstabber!! How could you do that?? It's almost as my life flashed before my eyes and I remembered many times I had turned my back on the Lord. After all, He had created me, and had plans for me and I still turned away. He offered me forgiveness and redemption and I turned my nose up and decided that I would do it MY way. Not only that, I too, dragged people down with me. WOW! The Lord can shine His light on things that you have totally forgotten about! There is just NO way I could continue on holding this anger and grudge against my once close friend anymore. I released my anger and unforgiveness, let go and ask God to take over. Was it easy? No! There were still times as my mind traveled through the past several months that I would feel that ache in my heart again. However, after I had given it to God, agreed with Him that holding a grudge is indeed sin, that I could look back over this situation and see that Jesus' blood had covered not only my sin, but my friend's too.
Do you have someone that you are angry with? You could be angry with a spouse, parent, friend, child, or even yourself! Jesus loves us and forgives us and we don't deserve it or earn it. If we truly want to be like Jesus, we MUST forgive. Good news!! The Lord won't only help us to forgive, HE will do it through us! God is so good! :)