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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

Monday morning I was searching the internet for a mom’s Bible study….one that I could either follow online or download. In my quest, I came across several little devotional sites but never really found exactly what I was looking for, however I did find something interesting. I began to notice a trend…every devotion I looked at was about forgiveness! I thought was odd, so I looked at just devotionals for women and then just devotionals…all of them had the same theme, FORGIVENESS. At that point, I figured it was worth passing on!

It was even more interesting that we had just had a brief conversation with someone the day before about forgiveness. This person mention knowing someone whose husband had cheated on her four times, Mr. Goodbar and I both had the same response. “How do we know it is his entire fault?” I know for many of you, this is where you think we are crazy, but hang in there!! The thoughts behind that were maybe after the first time she said she forgave him, but never really did. Maybe, every time they went to bed she had a comment or maybe she would flip out and question him if he was even speaking to a woman? Don’t get me wrong, I am in NO way condoning him cheating, but why are we so quick to judge people who do something wrong but think nothing of the people that don’t truly forgive and keep drudging up the past?

We’ve all done things that we would rather forget and things that we are truly sorry for….what if God had that same mentality that we get sometimes? “I’ll forgive all right, but don’t worry, I’ll never forget”. I understand that we can’t truly forget, that’s human nature, but we can actually put it behind us and move on. When we hang onto it and keep bringing it up, that’s called a grudge, which is just as wrong as the thing that happened in the first place!

The Bible tells us:

Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Matthew 6:14-16
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Luke 6:37
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

I know that is a lot easier read than done (ha ha) but I believe God rewards effort. He knows we are human, after all He created us! He understands that we are filled with emotions that hinder us from a lot in our lives, but He also knows we are capable of striving for better.

Forgiveness is a choice, not something that just happens. We have to CHOOSE to forgive wholly, not partially. We have to CHOOSE to move on and not hold it against someone. God has chosen to forgive us; God has commanded us to forgive!

In the case of the cheating spouse, why should he strive for better if he is always guilty in her eyes, always cheating, never quite able to overcome what he did? I’m not saying this is the case in this situation, I don’t know, Mr. Goodbar and I just feel that you can’t always blame others for things that happen over and over and never look at yourself a little.

There is always going to be someone that does something wrong towards you or hurts you, that’s life, but sometimes we don’t stop and put ourselves in their shoes, think of the situation, and MOST OF THE TIME we don’t whole heartedly forgive them when they are sorry! I understand a lot of people say “they aren’t truly sorry”, that’s not for you to decide, just like the Bible says in Luke, our job is to forgive, not judge! God can take care of the true repentance, we are called to forgive.

Next time you are quick to bring up the past to someone who has hurt you or to hang onto their sin….think of how you would feel if God hung onto everything you have done wrong and brought it back up each time we sinned!!

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