God takes forgiveness pretty seriously. You should too

Matthew 6:15 – http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-15.htm

I’m going to be blunt…

I hate it when people (ESPECIALLY Christians) won’t admit to the fact that the problem is “them”…

When a person has deliberately decided that someone else is the problem and hence they hold no forgiveness for that person in their their hearts and act as if they can never be made whole again, it really frazzles me.

Time and time again I watch in the church (funnily enough, mostly with WOMEN but a few times with men) who get their feathers bent out of shape because of this or that or the other and decide that now they have a problem with someone else.

However, when the problem is addressed, commented on, apologized for, or stated to be misunderstood, the same old things always seem to follow … in fact, it’s hilarious how predictable those things are-

Un-forgiveness, mistrust, contempt, jealousy, rumor spreading, gossip, the list just goes on and on.

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I have lost several friends in the last 6-10 years, ALL of them women, ALL of them to issues that could have easily been resolved if said woman would have just accepted my SINCERE apology and realized that THEY were the problem.

Now, let me be clear-

When I say that THEY are the problem, what I am talking about was/is after the fact. Meaning that regardless of whether I initially caused an issue (most of the time it was over a misunderstanding, which makes it even more silly) they have refused to accept my apology, have a relationship with me, communicate, etc… This makes them the problem whether they like it or not.

Jesus repeatedly spoke in the bible about forgiveness and ESPECIALLY amongst his elect and His church. The “emotional feelys” that women don’t seem to be able to work out with their brothers and sisters seems to be one of the many reasons that women are not supposed to preach in churches as it seems that women have a much bigger issue with this than men.

The bible says that you are NOT supposed to have an issue with your brother or sister in Christ. This doesn’t mean that you might not always be working things out. This doesn’t mean that the other person won’t do things that rub you the wrong way, or that they might not do something that makes you mad. It means, don’t hold it against them. Let things go. ESPECIALLY IF THEY CAME TO YOU AND APOLOGIZED!

If you can’t do this, then what in the world are you calling yourself a Christian for? We are supposed to forgive our brother (sister) seventy times seven.

Even if your brother/sister was COMPLETELY in the wrong (and in my experience, that’s actually NOT the case. Usually there is either a great misunderstanding, the person who is upset is making it a FAR bigger issue in their mind than it actually is ((by ascribing motives and issues to the person that they are not forgiving)) that are not correct thus blowing it MASSIVELY out of proportion, or the other person might have actually done something very wrong and now they are very sorry about it).

The worst part is that usually the person who is holding someone in un-forgiveness will justify themselves in that. Immediately taking to social media and saying things like, “When God closes a door…” bla bla bla… No sweetheart… God didn’t close that door. You did. In fact, you SLAMMED it… in the face of your brother/sister and here I refer you to Matthew 6:15. Then you see posts like, “God knows what happened, I will stand firm”… and everyone on Twitter and Instagram likes it/ making the person feel justified (without knowing the full story). No sweetheart, again, God ain’t mad at your brother, He’s mad at you. 

Matthew 5:23-24 says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Sounds to me like God takes forgiveness pretty seriously… “Leave your gift at the altar and go and reconcile” – “Your father WILL NOT FORGIVE YOUR SINS…” Hmmmm.

I would like to finish this post by saying that ultimately, here’s the real issue-

You are not causing someone else problems, you are causing problems for YOU… For yourself. God is not going to grant you favor through un-forgiveness. It says so in His book.

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–I’m not trying to “Throw shade” or be “salty” I’m actually ONLY referring to people who have had personal problems with me in the PAST… so if you feel convicted or angry, then maybe you should be asking yourself why.

Think about it…

This is a marriage (our marriage to Christ) and it only works if we are committed to making it work. ALL OF US

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Run from your sin! And it will certainly, absolutely never ever ever follow you at all.

I had come to the end of my rope…

“I just can’t do this anymore,” I said sheepishly looking at my husband.

I had just reiterated (for the fiftieth time) my current struggles in life coupled with my feelings of inadequacy, and the proverbial “banging your head against your wall” that happens to us all when a Christian begins to experience sin and temptation in all it’s resplendent false glory.

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My husband listened, nodded, sighed heavily a few times and lifted his head to look at me. “I don’t know what to do,” I said.

He shrugged. “Nothing.” He replied as if reading off of an item on my grocery list.

Wait a second… I just told you that I was struggling with temptation, and that I felt that I was drowning and your response to me was that I should do nothing?

“Nothing,” he replied again. “You need to keep putting yourself in it’s face.”

If your head didn’t just explode, stay with me.

How often in our Christian walk have we heard, “Run away from your sin…” ?

A few years ago now, I was struggling with an issue, and I sat down to talk with another woman about it. She shook her head and said, “You need to run… you need to run away from that right now.”

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I believe that there absolutely is a time and a place for running. If you feel yourself giving in to REAL temptation, then run. Run right then.

But, for some of us… those temptations are not as easy as “put down the bottle and walk away” because they’re less …physical.

The truth of the matter is that running sounds like the logical choice…

But wait a minute. If we run from temptation, what happens the next time we encounter it? Oh sure, we might not run into meth in our every day life, so resisting it once might sound really easy because heck, who knows when the next time we’ll encounter it again will be. Maybe never. Run once, and you won’t even have to look at meth for twenty years maybe. That’s simple!

But, alcohol… that might be a bit harder to always run from…
Porn… Even harder…
What about just old fashioned unforgiveness? … hitting a nerve there…
What about gossip? Having something against your brother? YIKES!!!

I’m not sure that you can always “run” from those kinds o things… and quite frankly, I think that this is one of the reasons that we start to lose people in the church. They can’t “handle” their own sin and have been told to “run from it”…

Funny…

You know, I don’t think that the verse is “Run from your sin, and it will certainly, absolutely, never ever ever follow you at all…”

I’m pretty sure that ACTUALLY the verse is “RESIST the devil and he will flee…”

What what?!?!? SAY IT AGAIN! “RESIST SIN?! RESIST??? Not RUN FROM!!??”

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Funny, I never really thought about this verse until my husband told me to continue to put myself in front of my “issue.”

I stewed over it for days until God reminded me of that very verse, and continued to point it out to me.

I wasn’t supposed to “run” from this sin because firstly that’s not what the bible says to do, but secondly, my sin is an issue of my heart not outright action, and BECAUSE of this running from it will only mean that it’ll chase me. That’s the nature of sin. Sin is in the heart and if you run from it, it’s still there. It’ll make another object, person, image, or drug the focus in no time flat.

This might sound nutty but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

A few nights later, I glared at my husband, “Everyone’s theology is flawed…you’re the one who’s right…” I smiled. He nodded at me, “I know,” he replied with a small smile. Then we talked about that verse.

You know what’s interesting? Since that revelation, I’ve felt stronger in this.

The idea that I can RESIST and not “run” actually gives me hope, and strength. I can stand up against my own selfish and foolish desires… and maybe I can have Victory.