The Cost of Forgiveness

At what point do you decide when you will forgive a person who has hurt you? How do you decide who is worthy of your forgiveness?

I am amazed at the number of people who consider themselves Christians and yet they have a problem with letting go and forgiving someone who has wronged them. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say I am amazed, as some self-proclaimed Christians consistently engage in behaviors contradictory of their supposed beliefs, but that’s a different post for a different day.

Think about the worst thing a person has ever done to you. The WORST thing. Think about the feelings you felt during that time (and possibly still feel) and let’s assume because of that event or series of events, that person is no longer a part of your life (whether by your choice or not). Fast forward 10 years and this person reaches out to you. Perhaps they send you a message on Facebook or gives your their new contact information through a mutual friend and asks you to give him or her a call.

What do you do? Do you respond or do you continue to ignore them?

Over the years I have deleted several people from my life for a number a reasons. Sometimes it was because I didn’t believe they were the type of friend to me I was to them and as a result they didn’t deserve to be a part of my life. Consequently, they were deleted as an attempt to surround myself with selfless, true friends. In other cases, I deleted people who wanted to confine me to their idea of who they thought I should be. Anyone who truly knows me know I HATE that. I love being free to be who am I, despite what others think so when I am in a situation in which I feel limited by another’s complexes, fears, and/or shortcomings; it’s time for me to move on. The final group of deleted folks are those whom I simply outgrew (or maybe they outgrew me), where no hard feelings existed. It just so happens that we were at different points in our lives and needed to separate in order to fulfill our purpose. These people often have a cyclical presence, as I’ve learned they often show up again at some point. I think this is God‘s way of testing our growth.

At any rate, in the instances where “something happened,” I hold no ill will towards these former “friends” and truly hope they are happy and doing well in life. I have forgiven them and moved on. For me, forgiveness is about the ability to continue to grow and develop into who you were created to be, learning from each and every experience. In situations where we haven’t forgiven, there is a preoccupation which often leads to limitations. Ultimately, you forgive so that you can move on. It’s not about them. When we allow those feelings of hurt and betrayal to take root in our hearts and minds, then we allow the person who hurt us to have way more power over us than they should. You basically become their slave. They are the puppet master and you are the puppet, each move they make directs yours.

Ask yourself where would you be without God’s forgiveness. We have all done things that hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally….and yet God still forgives us. To take it a little deeper, we sin against God constantly, which is the ultimate slap in the face, and yet He still forgives us. If someone who is perfect in every way can forgive, who are we in our imperfections to not forgive?

How do you know when you have truly forgiven someone? When any interaction with them elicits none of the feelings you felt when they hurt you.

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If God is Love

If God is love, why do we use Him to justify hate?

Do we believe that God will love a person less because of his or her sin?
If so, are we ever able to regain His love or is it gone forever?
If He loves us despite our sins, why do we believe some sins are more lovable than others?
If we disappoint Him, will He forgive us?
Does He only forgive certain people?
If He forgives all, why can’t we emulate that?
Who decides on the line between what is forgivable or not?
Is it God or is it man?
What happens if we choose to love the person but hate the sin?
Is that stance more God-like?
If it is, why is there so much hatred for people?
 
Are we really trying to be like God? Like, for real, for real?
 
Or do we only want to be like Him in matters that fit within our worldly boxes and limited thinking?
 
How do we pick and choose who we’ll accept and love unconditionally?
 
If God were to come to your house tonight for dinner, what would He say about your rationale for the choices you make?
Will He still love you?
 
Will He see Himself in you?
 
Or would you be a stranger to Him?
 
Will He love you less if you are a stranger?
 
Or will He bestow to you the same level of love He bestows to all?
 
Is loving people really that hard if we are following a God-laid plan?
 
How would you feel if a loved one told you, “I only love parts of you?”
 
How would you feel if the way you loved others was the way God, in turned, loved you?
 
Would you still love the same?
 

The Least Shall Be the Greatest

Sometimes the people you most believe will be there for you when you need them are the ones who aren’t there when you need them.

Sometimes the people you least expect to be there when you need them are the ones who are there when you need someone.

Don’t write people off because they for whatever reason don’t live up to a certain pedigree in your mind. God often uses the least of us.

love just because

with head bowed, admiring the sand beneath my feet, holding tightly onto every word enunciated, on the brink, playing it cool

as we walk steadfast in beauty created specifically for us

as the sound of your voice, enhanced by children playing and laughing, as the wind sings a sweet song reflected in the swaying of branches

branches swaying, navigating through it all, without a map

or a destination

us, the branches connected by the root, stained with the purest, most powerful blood

we marvel in wonderment about his grace and all he has done for us

holding back tears of thankfulness, unable to speak

speaking through tears, unable to comprehend

looking in eyes hiding from the past, the present, the future

comforted by his words and overwhelmed by your presence

he was tortured and died, without evidence of guilt

we fail to believe in him and his word, even with documented acts of faithfulness, we fail to receive, but greedily accept the easy and the quick

it feels good, so it must be good

unsubstantiated, empty, psuedo happiness.

we deny being saved from a world that consistently lets us down, a world that causes us to bury our children and defend cowardice and ignorance

but he sent you to remind me that he did all of that, without us ever asking or deserving

he loved before we were ever a thought

he forgave before we knew we needed it

he sacrificed before i knew my name, let alone his

and

he did it,

just because.