“You are a liar.” And if that wasn’t hurtful enough, she continued, “…and reckless and irresponsible.”
The fact that the statements were untrue did little to ease the hurt. A friendship lost, and betrayal by someone I trusted and called a close friend is never an easy situation to work through in one’s heart.
Moments like this – unexpected and unreasonable – happen to all of us. Life changes in these situations, and inadvertently so do we.
The question becomes this:
Do you crawl into a cave and roll a boulder in front of the entrance, so no one else can hurt you? Or, do you stand straight, and allow God to show you how He would have you respond?
I am over with friends at (in)courage today and the question before us is, “ How do we forgive past hurt by community?”
“The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty.” ~ Ann Voskamp
“Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”(Matthew 5:11-12NAS)
I wanted to say mean things back to the ones who hurt me. After all, the world wants a good fight or revenge! But God’s ways are always different than the world’s ways. For me this translated, “Keep your mouth closed, and find a reason to be thankful.”
“The source of Divine vision must be restored to man’s daily work.” ~C.S. Lewis
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of the darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12NAS)
It seems like we are battling with people, but the truth is we are battling a different enemy and need Christ’s eyes to see. Satan wants us to be occupied with our circumstances so much that we take our eyes off of God, and off of the things for which we can be thankful. By rerouting our attention, he robs us of our joy. Ask yourself, “Did the situation, kill, steal or destroy a part of my life?” If yes, then the root of the problem is Satan.
“Two roads diverged in the wood and I – took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost, The Road Less Traveled
“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Romans 4:32NAS)
When the enemy is spiritual, using flesh and blood against you, we need to use spiritual weapons in response. Forgiveness is the most powerful weapon we have from Christ. Not because it will change the offender, (though it certainly could), but because it frees you and me. It frees us to seek Christ, instead of allowing our minds to ruminate over sorrow. Forgiveness weakens the power of the enemy’s weapons, giving us an advantage in the battle. However, forgiveness is the road less traveled.
“This is the supreme demand. Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side and plead for him to God. For if we pray for them, we are taking their distress and poverty, their guilt and perdition upon ourselves and pleading to God for them.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“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.” (Matthew 5:44-45NAS)dsx9
To behave like Christ and show that we are His children – that we are part of a royal family then we are to pray for those who have offended us and possibly gone from friend to foe. We need to obey His guidelines in good times and bad. We need to pray for those who have wronged us as an act of forgiveness. Forgiving others who have wronged us is never easy. I know! But as a child of our Father in Heaven we have the ability to forgive, because Christ has set the example for us to follow.
Let’s stand with those who have offended us, in prayer, and intercede as Christ does for us each day, allowing our spiritual DNA to show through our flesh, so that when we come face to face with our Father, He can say of us, “Well done, daughter.”