To Forgive, Or Not To Forgive…There Is No Question

(It’s been awhile since I’ve written posts this long…but I pray it’s a blessing to someone else)

 

I recall a time when I was mad at two people for almost two weeks. TWO WEEKS of waking up angry, with the replaying of that particular day in my head.

At that time, God spoke to me and said, “Jacqueline, you are giving them too much power. Here you are walking around angry everyday, and they’re going on enjoying life. They probably don’t even know that you’re mad at them.”

When He put it like that, I let it go. I saw how ridiculous it was to go on that long carrying that load, and when I looked back, it really wasn’t that big a deal.

Well…this time it was…

This time I was so angry that I didn’t want to be bothered with anybody or anything the whole day. I wanted to tell everyone I encountered how this person had utterly “pissed me off” and how much I wanted to go off on them…but God spoke again, and said, “Don’t make your problem everyone else’s. Careful, don’t spew venom.”

So I bit my tongue, for the most part…until another person decided to join in…then I became highly irate.

That day I went to a friend, my mom…but I didn’t go to God. I couldn’t sleep that night because I was so upset and so furious; God told me to pray for their safety, that they have traveling grace and I found myself getting even angrier. I became disgusted at the thought of praying for their wellbeing when they didn’t care about mine. Finally I had to ask God to remove it and bring peace into my heart.

This went on for three nights.

Realizing that most of my anger could’ve been subdued had I been actively engaged in my Word, and knowing I need to get back to studying as well as doing my devotionals, I picked it up and went back to going over Ecclesiastes 11.

As I studied Eccles. 11:6, this is what God had to say…

Now the verse reads,

“In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Eccles. 11:6 KJV

(I broke it into two parts—the first part being “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand:” which is the one we’ll be focusing on)

“Work. Don’t delay in doing what needs to be done because the longer you wait the more likely the harvest will be few. If you’re always planting seeds of idleness then the result will always be that you will be without. But if you do due diligence in making sure to toil the ground everyone gets rewarded.”

At that moment, I thought He was talking about me procrastinating on my homework. Then He came with this,

“Can people eat off your fruit tree?” Remember that as believers we are supposed to produce spiritual fruits…of HOLINESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS…but sometimes we don’t always do that. Some of us are going around claiming Christ but have no fruits as evidence to show for it, and then on the other hand…

“Is it slim pickings or is it plentiful? Is it bitter or unsafe to eat, or is it edible and hardy? What are you feeding people because others are reading you everyday.”

As a believer and follower of Christ, we are to walk in His ways. That means I should be feeding life and love to people, not death and hatred, “Remember you are someone’s lone and only Bible and they observe how you handle your problems on a regular basis.”

Bringing back my attention to when I was walking around with a short fuse that day, God showed me that even when I don’t think people are taking notice, they are still looking to me to be the example because I say I love Him and follow Him. Therefore I shouldn’t handle things the way the world does and I should treat people the way God has called me to. Does that mean I become a doormat? NO, but I shouldn’t get ugly or short with people who make me mad. “Be ye angry, and sin not…” (Ephesians 4:26a) So those feelings of wanting to curse them out, tell them off about themselves and/or punch them in the face and make them choke on their teeth…completely out of the question (and YES…I do get THAT angry)

“You set the tone for the day, and even if the day doesn’t start out right, you can change it’s progression and how it ends. You do that by staying in your Word.” He pointed out the fact that even though I had been doing devotionals, I had stopped studying over Ecclesiastes as He had instructed me to. The Spirit then said to me, “If God has already lined everything out and told you, ‘This is what you need to do to make it to Me,’ then you don’t start picking and choosing which ones to follow and which ones to reject. If you accept Him then you follow the whole Book; not just the parts you like or the sections you agree with—THE WHOLE BOOK—including the ones that are the most difficult to do because it requires you to let go of a broken mindset.”

This broken mindset would be the fact that I like going off on people, whether I’m close to them or not, because it’s faster than having to go in prayer and seek God out about the situation…then go and repent about it later. I like doing things my way and telling them off; having to bite my tongue and do right by people even when they do me wrong is extremely difficult for me. EXTREMELY.

But again…I’m supposed to be a follower of Christ. I know that my way doesn’t work. I know that God knows best…so why continually choose a way that’s broken and causes damages when God is capable of not only fixing the brokenness but restoring everything to its proper place?

Because it’s the nature of my flesh to want to rebel, to be prideful and seek to do things my way instead of just admitting I need help and allowing Him to come in, and take over. Thinking about that day all over again, a flash of anger rose up in me once more. I was tired of keeping my mouth shut and allowing people to walk all over me, tired of being the bigger person while the other person who crossed me the wrong way went on with their day without giving so much as an apology, tired of always having to be the “good guy”. Then as I read my devotional for the day, the scripture 2 Peter 2:9 hit home,

“the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” (2 Pt. 2:9 KJVA)

As I read it, God said to hold on this one. Every time I read it, I hear Him tell me, “I am with you and I see what they do to you. Long as you hold on to Me, I won’t let you fall. I will take care of them and they will get their just due—but don’t you forget that I AM God and I will ALWAYS take care of My children.”

Back to Ecclesiastes…

“Imagine holding on to shards of glass in your hands and grinding it until they start to bleed, to the point where the glass is so embedded it has to be surgically removed. This is what happens when you refuse to let go of old habits, unforgiveness, hatred, anger—all those things weighing you down. And at the end of the day, the only one who suffers from you holding a grudge is YOU.”

I came to the conclusion recently that I can’t save people. I can’t make people love themselves or resurrect their souls from the grave, because that is a job that belongs to God alone. I can however pray for them, and for myself in the meantime, that God work on both our hearts. I decided it was time to remove myself from certain people because the relationship was so volatile that it seemed like I got into more arguments and heated spats with them than anything else. All I heard God say was, “Remember…be careful of the bridges you burn down because you may need it to go across one day.”

Immediately Satan came in, “You don’t need them! For what?! Move on and be done with it!”

Yet still, “Don’t burn down bridges you need to get across.”

The very person you write off is usually the very person you need to get to your breakthrough. Sure, it’s easy to point the finger at the people I constantly find myself at war with…but then again maybe the problem doesn’t lie with them, but rather with me. Perhaps I am partially to blame for the calamity…or maybe I’m fully to blame. Either way, I have decided that it’s time to step away and regroup.

Maybe it was time for that season to end, and maybe it wasn’t. Maybe God is setting me apart so that He can finish building me anew by pushing aside the distractions that were taking over in my life…I can’t say for sure.

What I can say it is that it hurts. I don’t like being angry at people for lengths of time. I feel God removing the shards from my heart and it hurts so bad…I’m near tears. I’m near tears every time I think of letting go…

But it was long past due for God to take over…

 

Lord God, I pray You take over in my life. Continue to remove the pain, the anger, the hate and all the loathing and disdain in my heart. Remove the shards and continue to remold and reshape me into the woman You have destined me to be. Replace my want to hurt for a desire to help, my words of malice with words of love and kindness and this broken mindset with a mindset for You; for serving You. God it hurts so much…but I know that when it’s all said and done, and everything is over, I’ll feel and be so much better than before.

In Jesus name I pray, thank God and amen.

 

I pray you all will please join me in prayer…I’m not kidding—I don’t joke about stuff like this. If you believe in the power of prayer, then please pray with me that God continues to work on me and for strength to endure during this process. Thank you all so much for your support.

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