Over the last few days my thoughts and beliefs on forgiveness have been put to the test!
I have had reason, recently, to practice forgiveness…A LOT! I have been doing a good job of it, I think….. LOL
But GOD had other plans for me. HE felt, or so I thought, that it was time for me to go beyond the act of Forgiveness …” you have mastered that” I heard HIM say. Yes….I have learned to forgive like a champion! I guess it is like exercise…when it gets easy, it is time to kick it up a notch!
So…oh boy did HE kick it up! LOL At one point yesterday all I could do is look up to the heavens and ask…”WHY??” Although…I was laughing..ya know laugh or cry! I chose to laugh…….. hysterically! LOL
Let me get to the point……
Forgiveness is an art. It takes time to refine your skills. Time…practice…dedication. I have done that and more. Not that I am perfect at it…oh no! Just well-practiced!
God showed me that there may come a time, when you have to realize that forgiving and forgetting is not necessarily the end all answer. At least not when dealing with some people or situations. At some point, you may find yourself faced with a situation where a lot of anger and lies are involved. It may become necessary to confront a person. And do so with love not anger. Even when you are pretty sure the other person is going to fight you. I have mostly avoided these types of confrontations. If I had a situation that was tough, like dealing with people who are so unreasonable you knew there was a fight ahead,I would avoid it. Or just bury my head in forgiveness and hope it would go away.
***I am not talking about confrontations with people who are reasonable. People you can share a conversation with and get to the meat of a matter without terrible arguments. That’s easy confrontation!
I am talking about confronting a person who BOILS your blood!! Someone who, it seems, will never be reasonable!! Will always demand that you are wrong, demand apologies. Even when they may have done you wrong. Yeah…people like that. That type of confrontation can be hard. Ah heck…IT IS hard!
In these types of confrontations our tendency is to react, usually in anger and then just “let it go away”. (And as I said…I usually avoid them and just let the situation die on its own.) Forgiveness in these situations will not..at some point….be enough! What God showed me today is that sometimes….you cannot just get angry and then sweep it under the rug to be forgotten!
That ugly nasty “thing” whatever it is, will rear its head over and over again until it is dealt with! And no amount of forgiveness will stop it! And no amount of burying your head in the sand will help! By burying our heads we are not doing any service to others or ourselves. How are they to understand how their actions affect others, if nobody is willing to talk to them in love, rather than anger. You know if you come at someone in anger or full of argument, the likelihood of them listening is almost zero! To do a service for others, we need to do it with love, so that they can have ears to hear. They may not hear it immediately, but there may come a time when they will reflect on your words. But the only chance you have is if it is delivered in love.
****Side note-some people will always see/hear your confrontation as being anger filled! They will not see your love. When they repeat the confrontation to others you will be the monster in the story! My hope is that someday they see what the truth is.
It has come time for me to realize that I have to put my big girl britches on and face what I do not like! The nasty confrontation….BUT I have to figure out how to make it NOT nasty! God told me “Girl…you need to learn how to confront, in the face of hatred, and do it with love” This is an art I am not skilled in.
So it is time for a lesson! And the first part of the lesson is that this will probably not end well. How will I end it? And end it with love and integrity? And accept the fact that my confrontation may mean the end to the relationship?
I was faced with a serious and unpleasant situation that I would really….really….. rather have swept under the rug. I didn’t even want to mention it, let alone forgive the person for it. I just wanted to pretend it never happened. That is when God told me that it was time to go outside the box. I had gotten comfortable with things and I needed to do something that I was not comfortable with. I needed to confront the person, even though what they had done was so wrong and made me so uncomfortable! I had a feeling they were not going to admit it and may even try to twist it around on me.
In the past I would feel that since this was going to end badly, why not just end it without the confrontation? No harm no foul…let it just be over;I mean we were headed there anyway! But God was not going to let me do that. He told me doing that would not be living up to who I am or who I want to be. I needed to have integrity and reach out to this person in a positive way; in a way that I would not care if anybody witnessed it. God guided me through the situation. I felt really good about it and felt good about not just sweeping it under the rug!
Here is the thing though…..just because you take that step out in faith to correct a situation, does not mean the other person will accept it. That can be a very deflating feeling! I mean…..heck I go to all the trouble of figuring out how to talk to them about this; and it ends up they say I did them wrong?! Or they just want to argue and fight the point.
Which leads me to the next part of the lesson……sometimes a friend can be bad for your health! LOL
It could be a family member too!
I talk about forgiveness. I believe in unconditional love. I believe the only way unconditional love can truly exist is to understand that at times….you may need to remove people from your lives and still love them. If not remove them, then change the status of your relationship, to protect yourself and your family. But do it with love and let the other person know it is being done with love. It is still love. You still love them…you just can’t be around them too much! If at all. Sometimes distance is a good thing.
I believe at times,there are people who are so toxic to your life that you need to stop being around them. It is true, we need to forgive, forget and move on, with love. And sometimes agree to not be friends, for our own sake, as well as the sake of others. But always in love. In the name of God.
I did this today and learned it is possible to accomplish it with love. It is possible to do this and keep your integrity intact. I am still standing and still alive! Was it pleasant? No! Did the other person accept it with the love I offered? NO! I AM the monster in the story! I can only pray for clarity for all concerned. But I do feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to stare meanness….straight in the face and not only NOT cave…. BUT do it with love! 🙂
Bottom line….Easy or hard, we still must forgive. Forgiveness is a very necessary element in our lives! BUT….Forgiveness is not a free pass to others to treat you as a doormat. We need to master the art of Forgiveness! And realize it is not one-dimensional…. it is very, very deep!
You can’t please everyone all of the time! Be true to you. Act in the name of God, with love and truth in your heart and you will always do the right thing. I promise if you ask HIM to guide you through it…HE WILL! Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Thank you for patiently reading through my rant……
*Peace and Love ~ Christine