Me forgive him? You must be kidding!

Me forgive him? You must be kidding!

A Story by Precious Prodigal
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August 12, 2013: Me forgive him? You must be kidding! Please Share this new Precious Prodigal Post: http://wp.me/p1D8dQ-cj

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August 12, 2013:

Me forgive him? You must be kidding!

Please Share this new Precious Prodigal Post:

http://wp.me/p1D8dQ-cj

 

1 Cor 13:5b Love "…thinketh no evil.” (NIV: “it keeps no record of wrongs.”)

 

It was my privilege to speak on “ So You Love a Prodigal” to a group at Capital Baptist Church in Virginia this past week. I then spoke briefly at all three Sunday morning services when Pastor Steve Reynolds spoke on “Forgiveness.” Nothing like hearing a sermon three times so the Lord can be sure you got the message…because I walked away knowing I have a long way to go in the area of forgiveness.

 

Those of us who love a prodigal get a lot of practice in the art of forgiving. You’d think that, as often as we get to do it, we’d be better at it. But that isn’t usually the way it works. We are much more likely to add each new hurt to the list we’ve been keeping for as long as our prodigal has been acting out. And make no mistake about it, we do have a list, don’t we? At least I do.

 

A few weeks ago, my prodigal did something that hurt and disappointed me. The fact that I had expectations, thus setting myself up for disappointment, is a topic for another day. It’s enough here to say I was very hurt and, right after the initial hurt, I got mad. In my anger, I said some ugly things to this person. I also said some ugly things about the person and the incident to Harry and justified it by saying, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years!” I then told him several of those “things” from the list I continue to carry in my heart.

 

While all that may be understandable, that doesn’t make it acceptable. I rejoice that God has shown me mercy, and I rest in the fact that God chooses to “not remember my sins and iniquity any more.” (Heb 8:12) But is it fair to want and expect mercy when I sin and hurt God or others but to want justice when someone hurts me? It seems to me that this is hypocrisy at the worst level.

 

If I can recount in great detail an offense that happened 25 years ago, it isn’t the prodigal causing me grief…it’s the list I’m making and keeping. And I’m doing that to myself. And in doing that, I’m robbing myself of the peace, the serenity, and the joy that could be mine today. Forgiveness doesn’t just mean we don’t exact a payment for the wrong done to us. It also means we don’t keep a list of those wrongs and the hurt they caused us. That isn’t easy to do, and we may sometimes find our minds going there whether we want to or not. However, we can make a choice about whether we pitch a tent and stay there.

 

Challenge for Today: Are you keeping a list of the things your prodigal has done? Can you, just for today, make a decision to tear that list up and stay in today?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal


Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
August 12, 2013:
Me forgive him? You must be kidding!
Please Share this new Precious Prodigal Post:
http://wp.me/p1D8dQ-cj

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