No Quarter

Behind barsWhy can’t God forgive us if we don’t forgive others? When you dig deep into what makes you the most angry at other people and really look at the resentments that are the most seductive, the ones that you love to nurse, you will find that at the core these are the things you hate about yourself.* I hear people say all the time that, “you need to forgive yourself.”  Not true! There is nowhere in the bible that says anything about that. It says confess your sin and God will forgive you. That means you have no business dwelling on those things; they are not yours to accuse yourself of or to forgive. We may need to make amends, but that is another blog. The Holy Spirit convicts, we confess, he forgives; the devil accuses. If I hang on to something in myself that needs forgiving, God can release me from it all day long, but I will remain a prisoner to it because I am insisting on having it in my life. We have the power to forgive others.  Since we are most likely to hold on to things in them that are also our issues, if we hold on to those faults, aren’t we then clinging to the same faults in ourselves? God tries to hard to forgive us, but we hold on to those faults so he can’t. Just because we are pointing the finger does not change where the real problem lies.

How do I know I need to forgive? I know that I am clinging to resentment when my responses to a person or thing are angry and short. Grumpy is just a poor excuse. You can be tired, hungry, stressed and still feel overwhelming love towards someone or something. I know that I am harboring resentment when my temper is short, and I am easily frustrated, for example, I drop something and a curse slips out. You can live a life so deep, that you laugh instead of curse – because it just doesn’t bother you.

weedsHow to forgive? Sometimes that is tricky, especially when things have happened to you that have deep significance to you. It’s normal to forgive someone and then find yourself angry again. Think of forgiveness like weeding. Pull them up, they grow again, pull them up again. Eventually, they won’t come back, so keep at it. Don’t ever give up – in fact be terrified to have even the tiniest trace of it in your life. Make list. Put the person’s name at the top and pray, “Father please show me what I need to let go of and help to truly let go of it.” then list all the things you are angry about. Like this:
My wife I forgive you for:
• Being inconsiderate and waking me up last night.
• For being so wrapped up in your own world that my needs are ignored.
Fred forgive you for:
• Spreading lies about me and my character
• Creating an awful workplace: bullying, undermining, lying, and abuse.**
• Stealing from me.**
Once you’ve written them down, tell God they now belong to him.  Do it every day until they just don’t affect you any more.  You will be amazed much stress and frustration disappears from your life, things that you didn’t even realize had anything to do with these resentments.

Have you ever been in love or had one of those days where nothing could phase you? Someone cuts you off on the road or someone insults you … and you just laugh it off, unaffected.  You can have an entire life like that, filled with a peace and tranquility so deep that your problems are like leaves on the surface of a lake, they’re there but cannot affect the vast life beneath.  It starts with forgiveness.



*If you disagree with me, you haven’t been digging and asking honest questions about yourself. Someone said, yea but I am not a rapist; yet he was a bully, selfishly taking from others what they did not want to give. That looks awfully similar from here.

**Forgiving someone is not the same thing as allowing them to continue. There are many times where you need to put your foot down and stop a recurring action, leave an environment, or report someone’s activities to the authorities. You can allow someone to suffer the consequences for their actions and forgive them. Both are important.