Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forgive? Really???

The other day I heard a DJ on a local Christian radio station tell a story about forgiveness. He marveled at how God had forgiven him - a former alcoholic who lived on the streets as a teen - now forgiven, redeemed, and transformed by God. Then he shared that recently his teenage foster child had taken half a roll of toilet paper and plugged up the sink - allowing the water to run for 45 minutes, which flooded the bathroom and caused the ceiling under the floor to fall into the room below.
I was picturing what a mess and huge expense that would have been when the DJ asked, "How should I respond?" And he provided the answer, "I had to forgive him. I've been forgiven so much, how could I not forgive???"
I knew he had given the right answer. But - wow! - how hard that would be to do.

Within a couple hours I realized God was using that story to prepare me for the need to forgive a thoughtless teen. Not one of the teens who lives in my house, but one who God has brought into our lives - for whom I feel like a surrogate mother. Came across a chat she left on my hubby's computer and the things she said about me are very hurtful. I've been pouring love into her, and to read her words (which were sooooo opposite the words she says to my face) felt like a punch in the stomach.
Yet, I have been forgiven much. There have been so many things I've done and said which have been like a slap in God's face. But the blood of Jesus covers me! I am forgiven. And I will forgive.
Since writing this post I have spoken with this young lady about what I saw. She assured me the person to whom she was referring in her chat is not me. (Thinking it would be good to have a follow up conversation about why she would say those things about anyone...)
I hope she is being truthful.
I want to trust her.
Either way, I am thankful to God for this lesson on forgiveness.



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

I am so agreeing with the forgiveness part of this, however, I think that forgiveness and accountability/consequences are not mutually exclusive. Love the way you are handling the issue with the girl.

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - I agree. Forgiving doesn't erase the consequences OR the need for accountability.

TheUnSoccerMom said...

Forgiving is so hard, especially when the wrong doing is directed toward you. But you and the DJ are right, how many times has God forgiven us for our sins? We must pass that forgiveness on.

This speaks to me directly about something my daughter is going through. Thank you for writing about this and giving me the right perspective. God knew I needed to see this!!

Irritable Mother said...

Jodi - It delights me to know God spoke through these words to you. Originally I had a prayer request associated with this post - because I was unsure about how to approach this young lady. But then the situation was handed to me, and God led me through it, and I was going to delete the post because it was 'over'.
Yet God led me to leave it, cuz I thought someone might need it. So glad to know YOU are that someone. :o)

gianna said...

kind of makes you feel sick to your stomach when you read those kinds of words. It would be hard to forgive, and it's okay if it takes time.

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - Honestly, I was shocked when I read them. And very sad. But I really felt like I was learning a lesson in forgiveness that day.

Anonymous said...

Words are so destructive when there's bad intention. Gossip, envy, uncontrolled anger, impatience, any sin will make awful words fly out of our mouth. I'm sorry you've been hurt that way. DO forgive though. A signifiant part of forgiveness is the freedom it gives the FORGIVER. I've felt a lot of freedom in 'letting God handle the injustice' and believing He truly hates sin more than I could hate sin. so it's a bigger deal to him. The person I had to forgive has, on the opposite side, been increasing in bitterness towards me- for things I did not contribute to- her general dislike of me or something??. We hadn't talked for 3 months because I believed her to be a wolf among sheep, but recently she told me she hasn't forgiven me...so that's 3 whole months of no contact but she's maintained this hatred....it's gotta suck. And she maintains she's a christian all the while she witholds her love. That hurts too