Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Words and Forgiveness

A page that is hanging on our refrigerator of things
to practice from our Weekend to Remember.

It had a been a great morning.  I made some new friends, chatted with some old ones, and was feeling encouraged.  And suddenly, a comment....a word.  One word that penetrated straight through me and took my breath away.  One word that took the smile off of my face and took my mind off of the beauty of the morning.

It's striking to me to realize how potent our words can be.  How a lady can make one comment over her shoulder that can ruin my entire day.  The Bible says that "speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword."  Pretty much sums up how I felt yesterday as her words pierced my heart.  

I tried my hardest to shake it off.  To put it out of my mind and forget that it ever happened.  She hadn't meant to hurt my feelings, after all.  She didn't realize that her words would have that sort of affect on me.  She didn't know that I went to my van and put my head on the steering wheel and cried.  She didn't know the power of her words.


The speaker at MOPS yesterday talked of forgiveness.  I was a bit distracted by the baby in my lap and the phone in my pocket and the thoughts in my head of the craft that I had to teach in a few minutes.  But I did catch a few of her main points.  She said that when you choose not to forgive someone, you become resentful and skeptical.  You become revengeful.  You lose your joy and love for life.  More importantly, when you choose not to forgive, you are directly disobeying God and your prayers will be hindered.

I'll admit that as I was listening to her speak, I wasn't thinking of myself.  I was thinking of someone else who needs to forgive.  And I was nodding my head and thinking about how this other person has become resentful and skeptical and has lost her joy and love for life because she has refused to forgive another person.

And an hour later, the word was spoken.  And I cried.  And I felt angry.  And I couldn't stop thinking about it.  And then I remembered the message from our speaker.  The message that was intended for me. 

Forgiveness is hard.  So hard.  But my heart isn't going to heal until I choose to do the hard thing.  I could place blame on the woman who uttered the hurtful comment, but as Neil Anderson said in Discipleship Counseling, "to place blame on somebody else is nothing more than an excuse to stay in bondage."  And staying in that bondage isn't worth it.   There is nothing that could happen to me here on earth that is worth directly disobeying God and having my prayers hindered. 

So I choose forgiveness.  I choose the hard path.  And when something brings that hurtful word back into my mind, I will choose to forgive again, and again, and again.  I will live in joy and love, and choose thanksgiving.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, Laura, I'm sorry you went through such a hard time yesterday. :( I admire you for choosing the hard way, it will bring you so much joy. THanks for posting this because God knew I neeeded to read it. There is someone in my life who repeatedly needs forgiveness, and this time I refused to forgive and I've been holding onto something since CHristmas. I need to get busy and choose the hard path. Thanks, Laura! <3

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  2. It's funny you should talk about the effects of unforgiveness or rather not listening/obeying to what God has told us to do. I chose not to listen after God told me to do something and it really is a downward spiral. I wanted to love this person, but because I could forgive them or even just listen to God telling me to talk with this person, everything crumbled. My relationship with God, with my husband, with my kids. The joy and love for God. My passion and desire to continue seeking God all came to an alarming hault. Apparently I wasn't listening. I finally did talk with this person and all is well. Everything came back! My passion, joy, love, desire. God is still working on us and molding and shaping us. He'll continue to do that until we are with him. It's so awesome that even through all the distractions, God still was able to get to your heart. I too have done that. "Mmhhmm. If that person could only just hear this message." or "I hope that person is listening to this right now." lol. Laura, you are an amazing woman of God, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. I love reading your blog and posts and am just encouraged that even though you stumble and fall, God is still holding you and lifting you up. God is again, still molding and shaping you. :) I hope that you have a blessed rest of the week!

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  3. I would have done the same thing you did. Words are powerful. I'm glad you have the strength to forgive. ((hugs))

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  4. I wrote a post on forgiveness a while back. It is something that is so hard for me too. You are so right, hanging on to the anger just gives you an excuse to play the victim. Great post! Thanks for the reminder.

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