Relationship problems are the result of sin played out in that forum. Sin is the culprit- our own brokenness, the gap in our relationship with Christ- where we are, as opposed to where Christ would have us to be.
Sometimes I catch myself praying for God to change circumstance and behavior when what is needed is for God to change hearts. Our actions and reactions are merely a symptom of the problem. When God transforms a heart, the change will spill out to influence all circumstance and relationships. We need to treat the root, not the fruit, if we want true and lasting change.
When I focus on my unmet needs, nobody’s needs are met, because no one is serving. I’m just having a self serving pity party. If I want to see change, then I must change, and the only way that will happen is if I let Christ have His way in me. I must give Jesus the reins of my heart.
“Will the tears ever stop, Lord?”
You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalms 56:8 (NKJV)
“Sometimes I think that must be a really big bottle, Lord.”
But to forgive the incessant provocations of life- to keep on forgiving the the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son- how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning what we say in our prayers each night,“forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Forgiving means letting go of offenses, not holding it against the person. It means wiping slate clean, canceling the debt, not retaliating.
What if I dared to speak the words I’ve never said?
What if I set them free from the captivity of silence?
Would the chains of pain be broken?
Or would the weight of regret be too great?
For once let loose I cannot call them back.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven- …A time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 7 (NASB)
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.Psalms 141:3 (NKJV)
Extending forgiveness requires humility, putting aside my pride, emotions. It means valuing relationships and being right with God over my rights.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”Matthew 18:21-22
Life is too short and eternity is too near to be easily offended by those I am called to love. Bitterness is like barbed wire around a heart. The walls I build to protect my heart are the same walls which keep Christ and His healing out.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:31-32
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)
Rather than trying to fix others, I need to fix my relationship with Christ. When I let Jesus overhaul my inward man, the core of me, many of my relationship problems resolve themselves. He is the restorer.
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Matthew 7:4 (NKJV)
As the old song goes, “It’s not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
I’m guilty, Lord.
Here I am
Heal my divided, renegade heart.
Deliver me from myself, my sin.
Change me, Jesus
I long for one accord with You
But I fail; I fall
I am dust, Lord
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
You are The Way
Have your way in me
Burn up the dross
Make me pure
I want to love like You
Refine me until I reflect You
Jesus, my heart’s desire and delight,
Song of my soul
Form Yourself in me
I want to be one with You
Standing In The Need Of Prayer (Live)
I must extend forgiveness if I want to be forgiven, even if the other person is wrong and unrepentant. This requires a supernatural enabling.
How I forgive others = God’s grace extended to me in forgiveness
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because Christ forgave the inexcusable in you. -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Many times what God asks of us is impossible. He knows we will fail in our own strength. He want us to acknowledge our brokenness, failures, our need, so He can change and empower us.
Matthew West – Forgiveness (Lyrics)
Jesus didn’t just die for those who would accept Him. He paid the penalty for all the sins of those He knew would reject Him too. The sins of all humanity were borne on the shoulders of the great I Am.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
Jesus did His part. He paid the price and provides forgiveness- it’s available up front, but we must choose to accept or reject it.
We must let go of unforgiveness, of sin, if we want to receive the forgiveness He offers. We can’t hold on to both.
The reason people mistreat others is because of what’s broken in them. If I focus on their need for healing, the injustices I receive will be so much easier to bear. When I really pray for someone, not just for my vindication or relief, I find God gives me the heart, the grace, to forgive them. And besides, I need forgiveness too.
Regardless of the behavior of others, if I forgive them and yield to God’s refining of my heart and character through the circumstances in my life, I will be rewarded with a closer walk with Jesus and the peace that comes from a right heart.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalms 28:7 (NKJV)
Love is forgiving. Love is serving. We are commanded to love. When I set my heart and mind to love and serve others as Christ calls me to, even if it is unrequited, Jesus will fulfill me. There is joy and contentment when my heart rests in Jesus’ hands and I walk in His ways.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 (NASB)
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 (NKJV)
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)
The Story Behind the Song, Forgiveness –Matthew West
Robin & Spencer’s Story
On January 26 2002 my life changed forever. My son Spencer Macleod was brought into the ER where I was working as a nurse, barely clinging to life from a stab wound to the heart. He was pronounced dead fifteen minutes later. It was then that I discovered his identity. He died coming to the rescue of…Continued at: http://spencersmom.com/the-story/
©2017 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart