Day 8..... (((Sigh))) Okay if I am being completely transparent, I need to confess that I feel a huge responsibility in writing about how 'love keeps no record of wrongs.'
After all, what on earth does that mean anyways?
Does it mean that I continue to allow someone to destroy and rob the joy from my heart?
If I am not 'allowed' to keep records of wrongs then how do I make wise choices in who I spend my time with, who I allow my family to be around, and what decisions I make regarding the level of intimacy and vulnerability I have with that person in the future?
Anytime I have attempted to put up boundaries whether it be with Christians or non...
A response straight from the Bible is usually offered.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matt. 7:3)
This response is usually always given by someone wanting to justify and defend their behavior. More often then not they are seeking to shut you up and take the attention off of the actual topic.
If it is put as a Facebook status you will usually see comments that follow that say...
This further affirms someone's stance or opinion on a subject.
I do not believe that a loving father would ask his child to go to the home of a known pedophile or his teenage daughter to the home of a rapist. Yet both the pedophile and rapist would say 'don't judge me."
That same father knows his children enough to know who and what is trying to scratch out their very cornea.
So whether it is a speck of dust or a plank in someone's eye... It needs to be taken out.
Likewise, I do not believe that my Father in heaven asks me to leave my wounds exposed for vultures to devour.
We must use wisdom in what we surround ourselves with, yet our hearts need to be free of hatred, malice and rage when making that decision.
There are so many examples in Proverbs alone that point out who and what to avoid.
Proverbs 24:8, "He who plots evil will be 'known' as a schemer."
Many times before you meet a person their name proceeds them. They make choices on what they put out there (lifestyle choices). Are we to ignore those and pretend all is okay?
The story of King David comes to mind. David was favored by God. He was 'A man after God's own heart." God established his kingdom through him and loved him deeply. Yet David did something that was terrible by any standards.
David 'saw' Bathsheba (another man's wife), he 'sent' for her, he 'acted' on his lust and slept with her. If that wasn't enough he tried to cover up the pregnancy that resulted from the affair. When it couldn't be concealed he had her husband murdered (2 Samuel 11).
David was so loved by God, But David faced severe consequences for his actions.
God forgave David saying, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die..."(12:13-14).
Sadly David faced terrible consequences for his sin.
He was brought to his knees.
Because of his sin his family faced terrible pain, the first son born to Bathsheba and David died (12:18), one of his sons Amnon raped his daughter Tamar (incest of the worst kind 13:1-19). The rape was avenged by yet another brother Absalom killing Amnon (13:28-29).
What is clear from the sin of David is that sin begets sin. When sin happens consequences follow.
What we need to learn from the life of David is that God is the forgiver and the one who punishes... not us.
When someone has wronged you or hurt you... let God deal with them.
Why is it that when I am asked to forgive, I feel like I am letting the other person off the hook. I somehow feel like I am letting them get away with it.
Forgiveness is the hardest thing to give away and always goes to someone who doesn't deserve it.
Everyone around you justifies your position and helps you feel justified in your rational for not forgiving.
The reason Paul admonishes us to 'keep no record of wrong' is because it causes us to lose sight of who God is and takes matters into our own hands.
I have had an internal dialogue with myself many times in which I am unable to rid my head of what someone did to me or what they did to someone I love. My heart and head want justice but the one who forgives me asks me to forgive them.
And even worse, is when that internal dialogue is about the forgiveness we offer to ourselves for our past. We keep a record of all the wrongs we have committed in the past and offer little hope for our future.
When we offer forgiveness to ourselves and others, we free ourselves from the one who destroys...
Forgiveness is not easy!!!
Forgiveness is necessary!!
How do we move toward forgiveness and free ourselves from feeling like we must be the one to offer punishment for the wrong?
When a person wrongs you...
*Refuse to point it out to others
*Accept God's forgiveness in the situation and follow his voice.
*When the internal dialogue begins... Stop it in its tracks.
The top thing that always puts forgiveness in perspective for me is ...
I tell God how I feel about the situation and the person.... and then.....
I ask God what he thinks of that person.
Right about now you are saying.... But... But...
'Nicole, you have no right.... you have no idea what he/she did!!"
You are absolutely right!!
But I do know what it feels like to be lied too... lied about... cursed... robbed... have someone violate you... have someone take what didn't belong to them...
and I know that keeping a record of those wrongs is so hard not to do, but it only destroys you!!!
I posed the question at the beginning...
"Does it mean that I continue to allow someone to destroy and rob the joy from my heart?"
The answer is no!! But the only way I stop it from continuing is by forgiving.
When I continue to keep a record...I in turn allow their actions to determine my behavior.
Joy disappears when I hear their name... joy is robbed when I am faced with the thought of them.
Why? Because I am keeping a record...
Our head knows that we are to forgive, but it is so hard to make our heart obedient.
Listen to this song. It was written after a mother chose to forgive the man who killed her child while he was drinking and driving... She went on to forgive him. He is set to be released from prison, at that time he will join this mother in sharing a message of forgiveness and hope.
Maybe you can relate to the words.
Forgiveness holds the key to your future... unlock the door.
Perhaps you need help processing your thoughts... send me a message.
Or maybe you never received the forgiveness from a loving God that I have been talking about... Message me... I will show you how it is possible to be forgiven.