A Foray Into Forgiveness

I'm a grudge holder.
I'm not proud of it, and I really am trying not to be.
And it's not to the point of high blood pressure or anything like that.
But, I remember everything, the good and the bad.

I was sitting in our church about a month ago, struggling to figure out why
I was having such a hard time worshipping during the musical set.
I didn't feel like singing, I was distracted,
and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't refocus my mind.
 Musical worship is a love of mine, but I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.

This lasted a few weeks.
But in the moment, I didn't really notice.
It's interesting how we don't see our own destructive patterns
until after the fact.
Even if those patterns last long months or years.

In this past month, God confronted me with two people that He wanted me to forgive.

The first person I have not seen or talked to in a long time,
and honestly, I had thought that my bitterness towards them was long gone.
It was striking to discover that it was only buried,
and that the coals still burned fiery hot when the air touched them again.

The second person I had been harboring negative feelings towards
for the last few months, without realizing how big the bitterness had become.

With both people I was adamantly opposed to forgiving them.
I told God, "No."
I justified, made excuses, ignored, changed the subject,
and begged to be let off the hook.
I made sure to re-tell God about how crappy those people were to me
and how they didn't deserve my forgiveness.

And then God reminded me that
I didn't deserve HIS forgiveness. 
And that if I chose to withhold my forgiveness,
the evil would continue when I had the chance to stop it right there.

So, I did it.
Through much prayer,
I forgave.

And last Sunday at church,
I sang my heart out.

Click here to download this free printable I designed for the occasion. 

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, 
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, 
if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; 
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive."
Colossians 3:12-13

Quotable: Eternal Sunshine

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