LOVING PEOPLE IS HARD AND HAVING TO FORGIVE SUCKS….AT FIRST
1 John 2:7 – Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before.
I must be honest; I’m having a really hard time following this passage recently. I never have any difficulty sharing this passage with others when I see them judging others for what they see as wrong but when you are dealing with a betrayal of your own it certainly hits home how hard it is to love others; especially those who you know are brothers and sisters in Christ.
In an effort not to be guilty of gossip I will keep this story general but in a nutshell here’s the deal: We discussed a sensitive matter with an individual in a ranking position to handle a situation (I can’t say what kind of situation as it would be too obvious but it was an important and personal one). Now, those of you who know me know that I am a person who holds being truthful in very high regard and when I’m asked about a matter, if the person has cause to be involved I speak candidly.
That being said this criterion was met and I spoke the truth about this “situation”, not only to the appropriate person in authority but also a person I trusted as a Christian. When the matter was discussed with others this trusted person, misrepresented my concerns, lied about what I had said and in the end unsuspecting people will be inconvenience because I told the truth and it was misused; yes the truth according to me but I can say unequivocally It is the truth as I had no reason to lie about the situation and I’ll add that it was to our advantage to remain silent.
Especially when I have to repeatedly see this person, it rekindles my anger making it that much more difficult to move passed it. Let’s face it our humanity doesn’t easily lend itself to quick forgiveness although I know that I will and must forgive this person for their betrayal.
I keep reminding myself that God is my vindicator and that all things happen for our good but boy ohh boy it ain’t easy. It would be SOOO much easier if I could just give this person a piece of my mind but God is preventing me from such fleshly pleasures.
What is happening now is God is teaching me the authentic meaning of love and what Grace really means. To love someone isn’t reserved for the people who do us right; it’s for the betrayers in our lives. Grace is intended for all the naysayers, liars, cheaters, wrongdoers, sinners and even us and it’s because God gave it to us first that we must extend it to others. Because what He gives us is meant for us to give to others and not because they deserve it but because Jesus does.
Philippians 3:9 – I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
You see, I’m not righteous because I tell the truth but because Christ died for my sins and if I am considered in right standing with God even though I still do things wrong then so are they. In my attempts to be more like Jesus I must consider that God loves them as much as me and in the end it is His job to change people not mine.
And when I take a step back and remember the number of times God has shown me His Grace when I was far from deserving; it makes it a little easier to look at that person and let go of my hurt and anger and forgive in remembrance of being forgiven.
I guess it pays to remember that people, as hard as we may try, can’t help but to let others down. The Bible does say not to trust in man but in God because He is always faithful. Besides part of the real meaning of forgiveness is the letting go of the expectation that the person who did us wrong can make us whole again, because they can’t; only God can and He will. And it doesn’t absolve them of responsibility; it merely allows God to hold them to account through the conviction of the heart which is the only way people experience authentic change.
Anyway, thank you for reading this. I don’t know why but I feel refreshed…set free even. Maybe God wanted me to write this not just to help me but also for someone else…only He knows.