Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Forgiveness

Forgiveness
Matthew West

It's the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don't deserve

It's the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word...

Forgiveness
Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It's always anger's own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying 'Set It Free'

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it's power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness


Something I've learned the past two weeks is that I can hold a grudge with the best of them. Something else I learned? It can consume you. I put everything else on hold for this anger I felt and I let it take over everything--I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep--it's all I could think about. When someone hurts you, it's easy to do that.

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council;and whoever says, ‘You fool!’will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Journey Concert 2008
Matthew 5:22-24
 
I read this on Monday and it hit me just how much I have let this grudge and this hurt overtake my everything the last few weeks. I have to admit I was praying for the person I was angry with, but not the way I should have been. My heart was not in the right place. I continued to read and God really spoke to me through the following verses:
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you 
Matthew 6:14
 
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32
 
"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
Matthew 5:44-46
 
"Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath;
for it is written,” Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore if you enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
Romans 12:17-20
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."
Romans 12:14
 
My toes are very sore this week. The Lord has really been dealing with me. But though my toes are sore, I cannot even begin to describe the peace I have felt in my heart today. After two weeks of turmoil, today I felt that peace that surpasses all understanding.  
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7
 
When I began to earnestly pray for this person, my heart began to soften and an incredible peace that can only come from Him came over me. Like the song says, there are instances where the world says you have every right to be angry--everyone would understand if you held a grudge. I've found myself in that place and I kept telling myself the last few weeks that I had every right to be hurt and angry--but I was lying to myself. I was telling myself what I wanted to hear, rather than what God says is true. It still hurts, yes. Forgiveness does not equal forgetting--But man was my day so much better when I was able to focus on HIM rather than the anger I had been building up inside of myself. Instead of anger, I began to feel love and compassion. 

Are you holding a grudge right now? Are you letting that anger build up inside of you? I encourage you to hit your knees in prayer about it. Truly give it to God and pray for that person(s). Allow God to cover you with that peace only He can give.
 

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