Thursday, May 12, 2016

Forgiveness and the Child of God

(The sentence I cannot agree with in the above quote is "the forgiving free spirit of children is our true nature." If it said that forgiveness is part of our nature as children of God then I would agree.)

It happened in the '80s. I remember the feelings it conjured up as if it were yesterday. We carpooled together, my friend and I, their two daughters, our two sons. Most of the time without incident.

But then there was this one day, and one disagreement leaving two estranged friends. Oh, it takes so little.

I laid on my bed and sobbed. She was a good friend; friendship is important to me. But I couldn't get past the hurt. Left up to myself, the pit was too deep.

Thankfully, God did not leave me up to myself. He brought another along side; another who was un-involved; another who loved enough to get involved and lead me to truth. This time it was my husband.

Sue, is this hard worth losing your friend over? His simple nine word question was the beginning of the turn.

Finally, repentance came, forgiveness happened, and a friendship was restored.

Why is it so hard to repent and forgive?

My identity is at stake. Is this how a child of God behaves? My behavior and my incorrect theology are in conflict. As a beloved child of God, I still sin.

Pride. Repentance calls for me to agree with God for my piece of this mess. Asking forgiveness puts me at the mercy of the other. I forfeit control to God and my friend - that calls for humility.

Fear. that my asking for forgiveness will not cure the issue. What if this wrong is held over my head? Will this incident always defines our friendship?

Shame. Admitting my wrong means to admit something is wrong in my thinking or in my perspective. Is our friendship worth being the wrong one?

Stubbornness. Faulty thinking gets faultier and faultier the more I try to make it look different.

Trust. In my pride, my fears, my shame, and my stubbornness the common thread is I am not trusting God!
    And the question became, how can I invite God in and trust him with this mess?


"O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you."
Psalm 69:8

Author and blogger, Ed Cyzewski writes, 

"Perhaps this Psalm comes as bad news to some. Some may read this as a kind of “surveillance God” peering into our lives, seeking any kind fault or reason for judgment or exclusion.

However, what if God’s awareness of our hidden faults is the best kind of good news, the good news we all need. Jesus spoke of himself as a doctor who has come to heal, and the prophets are filled with accounts of God mourning that Israel will not turn back to him.

What if God is a lover who sees our foolishness and faults and still remains enamored with us? God sees our secret sins and wants nothing more than our healing and redemption.

There is grace and mercy for us before we even acknowledge our failings. In many ways, confession is more for us than it is for God. Confession convinces us that God has known who and what we are all along and still wants to call us his beloved."

Me and my good friend Barb, April 2016.

"Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
James 5:16

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