I think God's trying to draw my attention to forgiveness this week.
We visited a charming little church on Sunday and the pastor preached an amazing down-to-earth sermon on forgiveness. He said some things that shot straight to my heart like arrows.
God's view of forgiveness is radically different from our own.
Past pain is a tool the enemy uses against you -
because he wants you to cling to that heartache. It'll keep you from the glorious future that God has for you.
The enemy wants you to believe that there's no way -
that you're unable to forgive. (But that's not so. You are.)
Even Christ-followers will hurt each other.
Sometimes God will allow and even orchestrate offenses, to separate relationships he never intended to happen in the first place. If God's not in it, it ain't gonna happen.
Forgiveness does not = Reconciliation. You can forgive someone without having to allow them back into your life to constantly abuse or mistreat you.
You can simply forgive them, and move on.
Don't get me wrong, reconciliation is a beautiful thing. But it's true - sometimes God moves us away from situations (or people) that he doesn't want happening (or being) in our lives. And sometimes that hurts. Really bad.
If you're going to have any kind of relationship, ever, you have to open yourself up to the possibility of hurt. To be vulnerable. But we will always have the love of God supporting us, there for us, when people fail us. And they will, inevitably. But that's okay.
We can't lock up our hearts, safe from any cracks or bruises.
We can't hold on to heartache and miss out on the glorious intimacy of a relationship with God... and beautiful relationships that reflect a picture of the love God holds for his church.
The important thing is to forgive, and to discern when to let someone go if that's what God shows you is right.
After I got home from church, made lunch, and was washing up the dishes in the warm sudsy water, listening to a christian radio station - the radio announcer randomly starts talking about forgiveness, and then plays a song all about forgiveness. Haha. Okay, Lord. Message received! :)
I'm curious. Have you had to forgive someone for something serious?
And am I the only one God talks to using the radio? ;)