Long time between posts. A life of resentment takes up a lot of energy. Then the unsolvable health problems begin to emerge, bringing needed motivation to get back on topic.
In a recent discussion, it was suggested my chronic health challenges may be due to some emotional and/or spiritual blockages. A true friend repeated the challenge to forgive the offenders, for the sake of my own healing.
Well, how 'healing' is it to let bullies off scott free?
Elisabeth Elliot (widow of slain missionary, Jim Elliot):
"Forgiveness doesn't make them right; it makes you free."
When I give my offenders--and the full dockets of their crimes--over to the Righteous Judge, He will deal His perfect justice to them. His grace grants me 'trusting obedience' and enables me to leave the courtroom in complete confidence. Once outside, the Holy Spirit envelopes me in His comfort and protection. The point is to continue on in His strength; and to resist the temptation to barge back inside and make sure the Judge is doing His job!
Trouble begins again when I don't see enough 'judgment' in their lives, or when they re-offend in mine. Trusting Obedience says, "Wait, His timing is best". Is my heart panting for vengeance or restoration? When God judged me for my wrongs, what was His motivation? A close look at His Law and Christ's teachings shows clearly that while justice is essential, the goal is restoration.
So what does Ephesians 4:29 mean to me?
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
For the sake of the judgment Christ took on the cross, God has forgiven me for my unbelief and self-will. Not because I deserved it, but because Jesus paid for it before I even asked. Before I was even born. Because God so deeply loved me, and Jesus cried out to Him for my restoration. Is He not equally crying out for the restoration of my offenders?
So this is the challenge:
Speak forgiveness for 30 Days
Speak forgiveness for 30 Days
Out loud, every day, in chambers alone with the Judge, my Advocate.
Demonstrating my desire and will to obediently yield it all to His resolution by deliberately, daily, declaring my determination to defer to His demand.
The abusive parent, the controlling spouse, the flawed spiritual authority figure, the stubborn offspring, the provoking co-worker, the backbiting employee, the gossipy family member, the bullying sibling, the contentious 'friend'. Each listed with just a few representative offenses, delivered to the Judge.
With their restoration in view. Resisting the Devil, so he will flee from me, taking his accusations and lies--and torment-- with him.
My Father, let me determine to speak nothing to any of them for the 30 days. As I meet with you in chambers each day, work your cleansing in my heart. Let me acknowledge my transgressions to You, so that I also may be forgiven by others.
Shine the light of your Truth in the hearts of all concerned and free us from the fears that make us lash out. Let Your grace provide me the strength and desire to do Your will. In the Name and Power of the cleansing blood of Jesus I pray, Amen.