When I became a child of Christ I never knew I'd experience some of what he went through. I know people who do not care for me because of my faith, I have been hurt by those who call God's house their own, I have been betrayed and deeply pained. Forgiving those who have hurt me is a step towards walking in the shoes of Christ. When someone I love hurts me I tend to forgive quickly in order to keep the peace and my life running as smoothly as possible. I don't expect to be hurt by other "Christians". Are we not all walking the same path, that to live a life resembling the life Christ led. Jesus certainly knew his enemies yet he still loved those who hurt him. He knew the miracles and felt the wonder of God and bestowed it upon all people, not just his friends. I'm not sure I have really forgiven people for past hurts, as much as just forgotten about the situation that hurt me. I felt that simply forgiving them was enough. Then one day the hurt memory returns and I realize the pain is deeper than I thought. I feel God impressing on my heart that I truly need to forgive and then actually act out that forgiveness. I am called to help them or do something for them. Some hurts are little and I have long forgotten the act someone committed against me. Some pain is so deep I don't know if I'll ever get over it. I have been trying to forgive and forget but all I've been doing is forgetting.
Now God is calling me to actually forgive like Jesus would. Treat my enemies like the precious children of God they are. A man in my Divorce Care class said "forgiveness is ducking so God can hit them for you". I have to remember that. Tonight in class we talked about how forgiveness is an essential necessity of healing. Though I don’t know if I can truly forgive me ex for the devastation and pain he caused our family, I can try to love him through the eyes of Christ. I don’t wish him harm in any way, but the wound is still too fresh to begin healing is a measurable manner. I know one day I will be able to stand or sit beside him and not feel the emotions of contempt and bitterness. Until that day comes I will continue to pray for him and his lost soul. I will be grateful to God for the freedom of will to slowly travel the road to forgiveness. I know I have to completely forgive him in order for complete healing to happen.
As Jesus loved Judas so I must also love my enemies. Lord, please help me to feel ready to forgive and prepare my heart for the emotions I must endure in order to reach a place of peace and forgiveness. Please show me how to accomplish this and guide me along the way. Hold my tongue when you see me straying from words that would bring you honor. Banish the bitter thoughts that enter my mind at times. Free me from fear and give me strength to endure this battle. Bring lightness to my step and return laughter in my life. Pave the path before me and make it clear. I tell myself that through your son all things are possible and yet I hold back giving Christ total control of my life. Teach me Lord, how to let go and allow your precious light to shine through my life for all to see the change it makes in me. Make me an example for others and continue to make our home a lighthouse for others to retreat to. Amen