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We’ll be blogging over there from now on.
Dan at Fistbump media got us all set up. We are SO excited.
I went back to this to find some definitions from a Christian man’s perspective:
To forgive: “To pardon; to remit; as an offense or debt; to overlook an offense, and treat the offender as not guilty.”
To Repent: “To feel pain, sorrow, or regret for something done or spoken; as to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he ha said or done.”
to Apologize: “to make excuse for”
There have been, on occasion, (ok, truly, way more times than I’d like to admit) times that I have been ugly. That I have said things or done things that have hurt others. I have sinned. There have been times others have said or done things that have hurt me.
Sometimes I don’t readily forgive as I should. Sometimes I don’t readily repent as I should, as a side note, do you notice the definition for apologize? “Make an EXCUSE.” No! That’s not what I wanted. I want to feel pain, sorrow or regret at what I’ve done!
Tweet this: That’s not what I wanted. I want to feel pain, sorrow or regret at what I’ve done!
Recently, I was given a challenge of sorts, from God? Could have been. But it was something very clear.
Maybe I had not fully forgiven some folks that had offended me in my life.
So I made a list.
I forgive ________ (entered their name) for __________. (entered offense)
Friends, that list is pretty lengthy.
I did this because of what we did with Malachi many years ago,
I transcribed a letter written to his birth-mother, A letter forgiving her.
And he was FREE!
He was free of anger! Anger so deep. Anger you can’t imagine. Especially for a 3-year-old. He’d had it pretty much since birth.
I long to be FREE!
I want to find freedom.
Oh, not that I don’t have it, to a degree.
But I want to find FULL, AMAZING Freedom.
I long to put away bitterness
I long for my heart to be free
So I forgive and I’m forgiven.
“forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” Matthew 6:14
And freedom is found.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” John 8:36 ESV
Shane and Christy
Linking up with Kate at Five Minute Friday. The rules are simple. 5 minute free writes, unedited on her one word prompt. Link up. Visit your neighbor and comment. Click here for more info.
Why is bitterness so bad?
Her face was hard, the wrinkles that were starting to show up were hard too. They weren’t a grandma’s wrinkles, soft and caused by years of laughing, hard work, and loving her family. They were wrinkles caused by scowls, frowns and unhappiness. Her life was really pretty good, she had a lot going for her, had a lot of family and friends, but there were “those subjects”. There were some things you didn’t mention. When you did, you could expect a reaction. Her eyes would turn stormy. The scowl would come back, and she would nearly spit the words. Mention his name, or that situation that involved that person, or the one time that…, and you would get an earful.
Bitterness. A lot of ink has been spilled on it. Probably because it is something with which we all struggle. Everyone could get bitter about something. There has been something that didn’t go the way we wanted, someone who hurt our feelings and either didn’t care or didn’t realize it. Something that could grow and fester and turn to bitterness. Many have pointed out, correctly, that bitterness imprisons the one who was offended, because bitterness is a prison we build around ourselves. We are commanded to forgive, we are commanded to not be bitter. We can give all kinds of reason, including the fact that Christ called us to forgive, to love each other, to be kind to each other, etc.
However, I want to propose to you that bitterness in the life of a Christian is an affront and an insult to the Gospel and the completed work of Christ on the cross. Let me see if I can explain.
Bitterness is usually caused by a grudge, or unforgiveness held by someone (I can’t think of an instance where it isn’t. There may be, I just can’t think of it). Somebody did wrong to someone else. Somebody hurt someone else. Someone sinned against someone else. Think about what you struggle with when it comes to bitterness. What was the sin that was done to you. I am not here to sugar coat that sin, or to tell you to move on, or to tell you to just let it go. That would be trite and ignoring the fact that it hurt. In many cases, it was a sin. Not only was it a sin, but that person should be punished for the sin that they did to you. I agree. The punishment most likely should be severe. Here’s the issue. Christ already died for that sin. Christ was already punished for that sin. And believe me, it was severe. When you are bitter toward a brother or sister in Christ (this can include your wife, your husband or yourchildren), you are telling Christ that His death wasn’t enough. You want to add to the punishment, because what He did wasn’t sufficient. Christ was punished for him/her, but you want to add to that punishment and get your licks in.
When you hold bitterness and plot revenge, and desire the worst for someone, you are telling Christ that the cross wasn’t enough. When you don’t forgive readily, you are telling him that His death was nice and all, but not quite enough. You want them to suffer a while first.
But, you may reply, they aren’t a Christian. Even better, Christ loved us, while we were still His enemies. We can’t be bitter and love at the same time. We pray that they will come to Christ and when they do, you know what, Christ’s death on the cross will be enough for them, without you having to hold their sin over them, making sure that they know how much they hurt you and how bothered you were. NOPE. Christ’s death was enough.
So, next time you want to give the silent treatment, withhold forgiveness, stay mad at something, or be bitter about something that happened, think about this. Do you really want to tell Jesus, “You know your death on the cross, it was nice and all, but it wasn’t enough, I need to get my licks in too.”?
Forest Gump was right. Life IS like a box of chocolates. You never know…but God does. He ordains the steps you take when you start young, when you think you have life, marriage and parenting all figured out–when you’re on top of the world. For us it happened when our oldest was about 3.
The hard times hadn’t come yet. The stresses and strains, the moaning pains that come with life. Hard adoption labor, illness, a lost job, a hospital stay, anger, hormone craziness, tough people to get a long with; sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s your spouse. Sometimes it’s your children or your extended family.
And things don’t go as planned and you learn that even though you took your best guess and though you were getting a ooey gooey caramel and nut candy, you took a bite and realized it was orange cream instead—-YUCK!
You didn’t want orange cream! You DON’T like orange cream!
But you eat it anyway, and you learn to be content and do I dare say thankful for the orange cream?
Because God takes the orange cream and melts it in your mouth for a while and you realize not only was it good, maybe, just maybe it was even better than the other because God had his way. His dream succeeded , where your dream would have failed.
You look around 21 years later and realize that life is GOOD! Even better than your young dreams. That in spite of the shortcomings, you have a husband that loves you with the deep soul love that only time together can build…and you have it for him as well.
The children, though imperfect, are being molded to God’s glory.
And somehow you rejoice for the orange cream.
You rejoice that God took that orange cream and made it taste better than the nutty caramel you only thought you wanted,
And you know that whatever comes your way, life is good
And orange cream may be your favorite chocolate after all…
Shane says it has always been a favorite of his…I knew he was strange when I married him, lol!
Shane and Christy
BTW, today is our 21st wedding anniversary and my heart is FULL! It seems like yesterday, and orange cream is not only good it’s exceptional!
We’re linking up for the first time with Kate over at Five Minute Friday. The rules are simple. Write for 5 minutes on her one word prompt; no edits, just writing. Link up and comment on the persons blog before you.
This world today is vastly different from it was even 10 years ago. This country is farther away from God than it has EVER been before. Families are falling apart. Children are being raised alone, without guidance to know what is right and what is wrong. Same sex marriage was upheld by the highest court in the land.
Family is what makes a society work. When our families are destroyed the culture will be destroyed. This has begun to happen in our country and many countries the world over. Marriage began declining in the 1970’s and unfortunately it has never looked back at the wake it has left in its path.
Some say children are resilient and will bounce back. We don’t buy it. Maybe a rare exception. But children are HURTING. And not only are we allowing it, we’re the ones DOING it!!
Unfortunately, many of our Christian homes don’t look much different from homes in the world. Single parent homes, rebellious children…my brothers (and sisters) this shouldn’t be!
And this is why we are here. We’ve been through hard places in life. We’ve taken some stands that have not always been easy to take, we’ve had fantastic seasons in our life together, and we’ve had tough seasons when the only thing that got us through was the commitment we made standing before God, and our friends and family.
We think we have something to offer. We think we can offer something different from what is being done.
Different than mediocre marriages, divorce between believers, parents, but not only parents, but Christian parents, that don’t want to be around their children.
We desire to help you have a marriage that sizzles. A marriage where you can’t wait for your spouse to get home. A home where your children are respectful, responsible and FUN to be around! And YOU want to spend time with them.
You see dear readers, we’ve done that. Lest you’re thinking that we’re gonna sit here and tell you how perfect we are, let us assure you, we’re not THAT blogger. You know the one, the one where life is always perfect. The children that always look pristine, never get a scratch on them. There are never raised voices. The children always obey the first time, and never sass. Naw! We’re not THAT family!
We will be REAL with you. We will be TRANSPARENT with you. We will be VULNERABLE with you. And we will tell it like it is.
Why don’t you click the button to follow us as we begin this journey. Come along for the ride and see where the Lord takes us…
Shane and Christy