Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Forgiving is For Giving

As a teen, I learned that I could shrink my heart by holding a grudge. 

It started when I confided in a friend; told her what I could hardly tell myself.

I noticed that I felt relieved by releasing my secret.

Then it happened.  As I stood speaking with the pastor at the back of the church, he asked me about the very thing I had kept from every  I stammered low and hurried away from his presence - heart beating fast, tears streaming down, anger welling up and tumbling out faster than I could run.

When I saw her later, I couldn't wouldn't speak.  She asked what was wrong.  I asked her how she could betray my confidence.  We stopped being friends.

Forgiveness seemed to me a strange response for someone who hurt me so.  But as I saw her laughing with her I wandered lonely through the halls, the truth slowly unfurled: I could not find joy because I shrank my heart.  In my attempt to protect myself from hurt, I locked out the very gift given freely to me - forgiveness.
Like a victim of a spiritual stroke or heart attack, I haven't let my mind be as Christ's or my heart beat as  His.  I missed giving in His order of gracious largeness of heart.  Jack Hayford
How can I not give what has been freely given to me?  I know what God has forgiven in my life.  I am grateful.  My gratitude is shown by imitating Him.

Over time, I have learned to give forgiveness because forgiving is for giving. The lessons came hard; the lessons came steadily. I am grateful for Love that gives and forgives.
For if you forgive  men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:14-15
How do you give?

You may want to visit with Ann for Walk with Him Wednesday

holy experience

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