I know I have talked recently about forgiveness, but it was on my mind a lot again today. I was listening to a podcast from James MacDonald this morning while I made lunch for my family, (I almost always listen to podcasts while I do housework. As a mom to young kids it is so hard to find time to sit down and study, so this is such a helpful resource!! A few of my favourites are Walk in the Word, The Village Church and Greg Laurie.) and the one that I had on today is one I have heard before, but was still great; he was talking about family conflict.
In our family and extended family there has been fair share of conflict over the years. Some of it has been easily dealt with, and some has gone on and on and seems to never end. It’s so sad to watch conflict destroy family relationships and especially to see how it hurts the innocent family members who get caught in the middle.
It is so easy to feel justified holding a grudge for something that has been done to you or said to/about you. The world tells us that this is normal, why risk getting hurt again?
We have family members that have not only held grudges against each other, but have been in leadership at their churches, giving spiritual direction to others while harbouring this hatred in their hearts.
It’s easy to judge them for this, but I need to ask myself:
- Am I letting this go on in my life?
And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behaviour. Ephesians 4:26-27,31
- Is something I am doing or saying (even in jest-I am bad for that sometimes….) hurting someone or provoking them?
Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
Unforgiveness hurts our bodies, our minds/hearts, our relationship with God…
I found this and thought it was really neat:
“Forgiveness is the miracle of a new beginning. It is to start where we are, not where we wish we were, or the other person was. It is to hold out a hand; to want to renew a friendship; to want a new relationship with husband, father, daughter, friend, or indeed enemy. It may not take away the hurt. It does not deny the past injury. It does not ignore the possibility and need for repentance and a change in the relationship. It means being willing to take the initiative in dealing with any barriers that I may be raising towards a restored relationship. It means that I am willing to have a relationship with the other party that is based on Christian love and not on what has happened in the past, if the response of the other person makes that possible.”
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