Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Do Not Be Overcome! The Power of Forgiveness


"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)

"...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (words of Jesus, John 16:33)

How do.
Here's a poem for you.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,
If anything is broken around here,
Ben did it.

The End.

Dear friend, beware! Be very, very ware. The three-year-old male is a creature quite beguiling. Baby lamb eyes, kisses, and words of endearment are common in this species. But, underneath it all lurks a contrariness so terrifying...
...the faint of heart cannot hope to survive it.

Then I think about this touching scene while I eat some mashed potatoes and suddenly everything's fine! Really. Also, bacon and chocolate cake don't hurt. And cookies. All kinds. Except gingersnaps with double ginger.

Now, do you understand what I'm trying to say here? You do? Good. This post was easy. I'm going to bed.

Wait. I can't just leave like this. My point is dangling all naked and cold. I didn't even make a point, did I? Okay, here's my point. My point is...forgiveness. Yeah, forgiveness. You've got to do alot of it when you're a mom. Also, if you are a person you will need to do alot of forgiving as well. Did I just make it sound like moms aren't people? That was no mistake!
 Moms are superheros. And don't forget it. Go give your mom a hug and then come right back and finish reading this, 'cause you might learn something.

Forgiveness isn't really that hard when the person you are forgiving is three feet tall and has a cheesy grin on his face. But when you have been hurt by a grown-up it's not so easy. At least that's my story. And I'm stickin' to it. I tell you, unforgiveness was like a rock in my shoe for years. It gave me a spiritual limp. And a blister. I couldn't go anywhere without being reminded of it. I couldn't have true peace with unforgiveness in my shoe. I mean, my heart. 

The two people in my life that were the hardest to forgive are also the ones I can't tell you anything about. They were my two broken relationships. I knew I needed to forgive them. I wanted to forgive them. But I couldn't. Not on my own. Not that I didn't try! But I know now that I was striving for a feeling. I wanted to feel like I had forgiven them. But I still felt really poopy about what they had done to me. I was still mad. And if I couldn't be mad anymore, what did I have left? My pain was hiding out under a protective shield of anger, avoiding exposure at all cost. 

Well, eventually I had to stop, take off my shoe, and dump the rock out. I had to forgive for my own well-being, and also because I love Jesus and He told me to. So, here are some things I learned on my journey of forgiveness:

Numero Uno: Forgiveness is NOT a feeling. It is an act of obedience toward God. This plain and simple girl appreciates this plain and simple truth. What a relief it is that I don't have to first be rid of all my yucky feelings about someone in order to forgive them. That can come later, with time and healing. Forgiveness is more about me and God than it is about me and the other person. Saying yes to forgiveness is saying yes to God and His ways. Obeying God allows His blessings to flow in our lives. So, practically speaking, Numero Uno sounds something like this: "Okay, God. I'm feeling really hurt and angry. Your Word says I am to forgive, so I want to obey You. I am choosing to forgive this person now."  

Part B: In God's economy, a little bit goes a long, long way! This is such a cool thing about God. When we make up our minds and hearts to obey Him, He takes our tiny little offerings and multiplies them. I like the story of the widow at Zarephath in I Kings 17. Elijah the prophet was hiding out during a famine. When his brook dried up, God told him to go to Zarephath. God said, "I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."(v.9) Well, guess what? That widow had practically nothing. She had enough flour and oil to make a little cake of bread for herself and her son, and then she planned on kicking the bucket. Seriously. So, why would God command her to provide Elijah with food? Why would He ask her to do something she obviously couldn't do? Why didn't he ask the rich lady down the road to feed Elijah? Huh? I'll tell you why! Because God is so super cool, that's why! He loves it when we trust Him, obey Him, and partner with Him to accomplish His purposes. It wouldn't have been any fun to ask the rich lady down the road to feed Elijah. She could have done it all on her own, and then God wouldn't have had the joy of showing off another one of His totally cool miracles. This poor little widow got to be part of something amazing because she obeyed.
She did not feed her son and herself with her last piece of bread. She gave it to Elijah. And with that act of obedience, God's blessing poured in, and there was enough food in her jars every day to feed the three of them! 

We all have something in common with this widow. God commands us to give something we don't have. He commands us to forgive each other!(Colossians 3:13) We can't manufacture this stuff. It comes from God. But just like the widow, we can take what little we have--a willingness to obey Him--and watch Him supply all we need. I can tell you that this happened to me. I had nothing. I couldn't muster up a smidgen of forgiveness for O. U. Didmewrong. But when I prayed that prayer up in Numero Uno, God honored and blessed my obedience. He provided me with love and compassion for this person. And like the widow, I got to be part of something amazing, too! Seeing God take this relationship that I thought was forever broken, and restore it back to health, was something I never expected.

Section three:Asking for help is okay! Having trouble with Numero Uno? I was. I did not want to pray that obedient prayer for such a long time. But I wanted to want to obey. Does that make sense? Here's another cool thing about God. Anything that He commands us to do in Scripture, He will help us do! He doesn't ask us to do anything that He won't help us do. Any prayer asking for help to do something required of us gets an automatic "YES!" answer. So, if you cannot pray, "I choose to forgive O. U. Didmewrong," then pray, "Lord, please help me have the desire to obey You in forgiveness." And He will! This is an automatic yes. He wants this for you. He helped me. He will help you. 

Item D: I have been forgiven much! This is huge. This changes my perspective. When I stop focusing on what O. U. Didmewrong did to me, and think of how much Jesus has forgiven me, it softens my heart toward those I need to forgive. He has forgiven me everything! How can I not, then, forgive others? "Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8) I have freely received forgiveness, and I want to freely give it. How freeing!

Forgiveness is a necessary tool in our overcoming backpack. See Bob? He's pointing to our destination, Overcomer's Peak. There's not really an overcoming backpack. I just now made that up. But you get my point, now, right? Be encouraged! Forgiveness is not impossible. It is within your reach. Ask Him for help. Decide to take a step of obedience and faith. Get that rock out of your shoe. My heart longs for you to walk freely in forgiveness! 

This post is so long, I must bid you farewell. But I do have a forgiveness story that I have permission to share with you. So, I will do that next time. 

I'm praying for you!          


  1. i like it; i love it; i want some more of it!

  2. perfect timing! Forgiveness is something I have been working on this past year. LOVED this post! :)

  3. Amen sister...keep being obedient. Loads of love to you, Amanda


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