Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Forgive?! Why?

"And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.'   ... Matthew 24:10

I'm thinkin' we're so there.

I mean, I read these Christian message boards after a teacher/preacher has posted a (simple) forgiveness verse (or thought) and wow! People go ballistic.

"Forgive?! You don't know what they did to me."

"But I can't forgive! It's too hard. I tried."
"They don't deserve my forgiveness."
"Maybe I can forgive, but I can never, ever forget."

And those are the nice comments.


"Resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult  ...  someone who is offended is angry and upset by someone's behaviour or remarks."

But here's the thing:

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."   ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wow. How do we get around that? How do we tweak it? How do we enjoy God, enjoy Life and keep growing if we don't forgive?

We don't.

And really, it's just that simple.


And I'll tell ya... This morning I had a major excuse to be offended.

See, a couple years ago I finally did as Tom asked: I began ironing creases in all of his pants. He'd asked for a long time, I'd whined about all the effort for a long time, but finally, for the sake of biblical submission only, I began ironing in those (annoying) creases.


Yesterday I ironed four pair of Tom's slacks, very carefully ironing-in those (did I mention annoying?) creases, but when I asked him this morning how his pants looked, Tom said:

"I wish you'd stop ironing out the creases."

Gah! And I, well, (hanging my head here) went ballistic. "Ironing them out?! What are you talking about? I spent all this extra time ironing them in, with four swipes each of the iron. I ironed, in fact, until my back hurt too much to stand up anymore."

Well, he spread out one of the pairs and even in the dim light we both saw--clearly--straight creases. Then he said, "Well, if you'd fold them along the creases, they'd stay in better."

Oh. My. Goodness. It's not enough to iron them a certain way, now I must fold them a certain way, too.

Sigh. Yes, I got offended and yes, I knew this was a test--would I quickly forgive? Would I recall that Tom doesn't ask for much and just start folding his pants the way he likes? Or would I spend this entire day fuming and complaining in my heart, ruining my what-could-have-been sunny hours?

So I asked God to help me forgive immediately. I'm no fool.

And then my sweet husband even came and apologized to me after awhile. (Really, he's a good guy. Maybe the new job has him on edge.) And everything is fine. We even joked about it afterward.

But of this I'm certain.... Go and let those little types of things stack up and they become huge Unforgiveness Piles which then become difficult to forgive.

Each day, forgive. Before things grow tall and really ugly, forgive and ask God to help and change you... and then move on to a much sweeter life while walking beside the One who, over and over, chooses to forgive us.


"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,   ... Acts 3:19

(Don't you just love that 'times of refreshing' part? I do.)

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."   ... Luke 12:48

Remember-- It's vital to God how we react to offenses. That's what matters to Him most.

How cool! I read this after I wrote this blog post. (Honest.) I love it when that happens.  :)


A passionate love for Jesus changes everything.


Jammie J. said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry, but I did find myself laughing about those annoying creases. :) I've hit an all new low in that I only wear clothes that don't require ironing these days!

Forgiveness, though. Yeah, that's really something I find myself doing more because God demands it, and once it's done, it's such a relief for me. For how can we be a blessing to others if we're carting around baggage like that? :)

Debra said...

Jammie--Heee.... It's fine that you laughed at those annoying creases. I'm always thrilled when anyone understands my sense of humor! :)

And that's so true about carrying baggage while trying to be a blessing!It's like trying to bring others close to God when we're the ones who've wandered so far away...sigh... Thanks for stopping by... Blessings, Debra

Anonymous said...

After 42 years of putting out the towels on the towel rack in the bathroom the same way my husband raised his voice and said he told me he did not like it like that and why did't I put it as he liked it. Well I would if I had been told!!! :) I am very good at remembering his likes and trying to please. Since then they have been right. Yet I laugh when he keeps putting another thing one place and day after day I move it and he sees it moved and uses it and puts it back where he had it then I move it back so it will not fall and then he uses it and puts it.... :) :-) n I have yet to tell him it is best to be put back where I had it so he is I have never told him. I have no right to be upset if he doesn't even know!! :) That taught me a lesson. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Well, sometimes it seems every day is a test of one sort or another. Guess we can be glad when the test is small!! (I never cease to be amazed at how often other people seem to think we can read their minds!!!)

Glad your test came out ok...
Elizabeth in VA

Rodney Olsen said...

It's amazing how easily we hang on to unforgiveness and it's usually over the small stuff.

I'm always so challenged when I read stories from the Forgiveness Project.

Debra said...

Sarah--oh, I know--men! Gotta love them, right? :)

Elizabeth--yep! Tests come every day, and when I don't fight them and complain about them, they're not so bad. :)

Rodney--The Forgiveness Project sounds like a very, very good thing for nowadays. :) It amazes me how many upset Christians I know! Thanks for sharing the site!

Thanks, All..... Blessings, Debra