Hi friends! Today, I am introducing a series of topics that have been impressing on my heart for weeks. This will be the beginning of a multi-part series that I will post in many different blog entries, covering one topic at a time. Bear with me as I strive to allow Jesus to speak through me and share my heart with you in love.
Each topic centers around the idea of having a Heart Like His. Join with me, friends, as we pursue the ultimate goal of becoming more like Jesus each and every day together.
Today, I will talk about unforgiveness.
Throughout the years, I have dealt with more unforgiveness than I could ever convey. Forgiving someone who continues to hurt you is hard. Each and every time I got to the point that I felt like I was finally ready to forgive, they hurt me again. My father, for example, used me as a tool to hurt my mother for years, holding tuition payments and doctor bills over my head and forcing me to go to his house (he had partial custody of me) only to make me sit in a casino daycare for hours at a time. My struggle to forgive him has been a long road, and led to the bitterness that unforgiveness always brings.
Although this is not the only instance of unforgiveness I've struggled with, it has certainly been the most prominent in my 22 years of life so far. Being unable to forgive him also created a cycle or pattern of unforgiveness in other areas of life. Whether being unable to forgive myself or others, there was a time that I experienced an unhealthy amount of unforgiveness that led me to really look inward and examine my own heart.
As a Christian, I know that unforgiveness is not of Jesus. So often, I feel that "religion" teaches us about rules and legalistic regulations, rather than a relationship with Him, which hinders us from truly studying the heart of our Savior. When we study His heart, we are able to develop a stronger desire to be like Him. When I think of Jesus giving His life for me, when I think of Him forgiving me of every sin and washing me clean, making me whole, and giving me new life, I am so ashamed of my unforgiveness.
Although it's sometimes hard to recognize the arrogance associated with unforgiveness, refusing to forgive someone is essentially saying that we are better than God. We are called to be like Him.
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
Will you accept this challenge with me? Lets work towards restoration, towards forgiveness. Lets work towards a Heart Like His.