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Dear Friends...Let's talk about forgiveness.

Dear Friends:

I wrote last week about our upcoming Anniversary! It is a miracle that we have made it to this milestone. I referenced God’s healing, so today I want to talk about a specific part of the healing….forgiveness.

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15

I thought I was really good at forgiveness in my marriage until God started leading me and showing me I was not. I felt justified in keeping the grudges and the list of wrong doings related to my husband. When the Lord started convicting me of my part, my sin, what I needed to let go of…I was resistant. Remember “I” was not the problem.

It would go something like this…

I would get hurt by something my husband had said or did, or even better yet didn’t say or do. I would then try to address “the issue” with him, and that would usually turn into a fight or a misunderstanding that would hurt me even more! (where is the Hallelujah chorus saying “I know what you mean Sister!”) Afterwards, I would make a list in my head about the wrongs my husband had done and rehearse how I could get him to see the ‘truth’. It was a viscious cycle and I was miserable! I was stuck in MY truth.

So God started showing me the way out: “I want you to apologize to your husband for yelling at him.” WHAT? “Wait a minute God, didn’t you see what he said to me first?” “Angel, I want you to apologize to your husband for yelling at him.” Are you kidding me? “Why do I always have to be the one to apologize?” “Angel, this is between you and Me, and about you obeying me. “ Oh… Busted.

So I would drop my pride, reluctantly, and obey my Perfect husband. Sometimes we just have to offer grace to our earthly partner because God says to, not because we want to! Sometimes our expectations and reactions are way out of line to what our spouse can give or do for us. We are expecting them to give what only God can give. And often pride is right there trying to rule the moment. That never works.

As a result of my change, my imperfect human husband started responding to me in a positive way due to my obedience to my heavenly husband. My change evoked some changes in him. This lead to less conflicts, more compassion, and affection for each other. Isn’t that what we all want in our relationships?

God is serious about forgiveness because it sets us free. It got me out of the bondage of blame and shame. Following His path of forgiveness freed me from seeing limited possibilities with little hope at the end, into His spacious places that I never knew were possible.

He is serious about forgiveness. He paid a HUGE price to cover ALL sin; which includes the sins of your spouse. He asks us to give to others what He’s already given to us. This is not up for debate.

We have a choice to either forgive or not to forgive. God will love us either way, but unforgiveness brings consequences and leaves us very limited. It leaves very little hope in our relationships. Remember to forgive does not mean the hurt didn’t matter. It just means there is another way to heal that hurt. Trust God. And see what He can do with your obedient steps.

Try swallowing your pride, leaning heavily on the Holy Spirit, and say those words “I forgive you, because Jesus has forgiven me.” It will set you free!

I pray we can all live in the truths of James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Let me know how it goes……… Blessings and Love, Angel

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