After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
I would like to say “Thank you!” to those of you who have given me feedback on my recent posts. Your encouragement and faith has been a great gift and I am so humbled by it! It only goes to show the great power of God and his love for us when so many go through such troubling times and yet we are able to stand strong.
I’m beginning to understand that in order to completely move past the things that happened in my past, I need to forgive those who have caused me harm. To include myself. Carrying around the anger, fear, shame, guilt and hurt of my past has put a barrier up between myself and God. It’s keeping me from experiencing His fullness and from being truly comforted in heart and spirit. I have been at war with myself and with my enemies for far too long.
I imagine it a lot like the verse above…we become so wrapped up in our inner turmoil that we fail to see the healing gift that Christ is freely trying to offer us. To restore ourselves to wholeness. To allow us to work, think, act, and love with our complete selves.
There’s another verse that says, “But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you; Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:22-24)
We are often so quick to place judgement on others, to leave issues unreconciled, to grow bitterness in our hearts towards those who have wronged us, that we mar the offering of ourselves to God when we turn to Him in prayer. We are to present our gift (ourselves) to God as clean and humbled children. Not simply turn to him and beg him to fix the other person, or to do away with them, or to give you a better life. First off, judgement does not belong to me! It’s His job and His job only. He commands us to forgive each other…even when they aren’t the “forgiving type.” To make amends and to love each other and be neighborly towards each other.
There have been many many people in my life, whom, if I saw them (and recognized them) I would go out of my way to completely avoid them. To keep from having to make eye contact, much less speak with them as a brother or sister. Because even just seeing them dredges up the hurt from the past and I feel betrayed all over again.
These are the things that I need to do away with. To find love and forgiveness in my heart, so, that if they do come to mind, I am not hurt all over again. I have handed the hurt and anger and all of those other feelings to God, and He has wiped the slate of those hurts on my heart, clean. I can be free of them. Not an easy task to do, huh? To hand the hurt over so completely that I am free of the hurt.
When you carry around hurt for so long, you allow it to become a piece of who you are. It’s like someone who has broken their leg and never allowed it to heal properly, so they walk with a limp. However, if they get it set properly, they have to relearn how to walk and to give it time to heal properly this time. It is possible to be free. I believe it is. It’s up to me to put in the effort to not take back what I give to God, though.
To forgive the “unforgivable” and to love them as Christ loves me. What an amazing peace that would bring!Tags: anger, forgiveness, freedom, God, healing, hurt, Jesus, judgement, Love, offering, past, sin, thanks, time, unforgiveable
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