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I think it’s funny how God likes to use my own words against me in a “haha, not funny” kind of way. I’m writing a devotional right now, so I’m going through and editing it and came to a portion when I discussed forgiveness. I felt like I was getting a smack in the face. From myself.
“A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” 2 Peter 2:19 NIV
There is a particular situation that I will not actually go into the details with that I let get into my head way further than I knew it could go. I played out situations in my head with this person that I thought could happen that I knew would never happen because I thought they were mad at me or would turn the tables on me, when in all reality it was solely a one-way street. I was the only slave. I’m pretty sure they don’t have a clue that I’m upset with them, and what I wasn’t getting until now was, it doesn’t matter.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walking in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 4:32-5:2 NIV
As followers of Christ, we are called to strive to live as Jesus did. This means forgiving others. When we hold on to unforgiveness, we’re not truly loving. We’re not acting as Christ would.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34 NIV
So, this whole time I just wanted to be heard. To be listened to.
I had to come to the realization that I wasn’t going to change them. I had to change my expectations for them. Because in all reality, they weren’t fair. I don’t get to expect people to act the same way I expect myself to act. Nor do I get to expect people to be mind readers.
What did Jesus say about forgiveness? You forgive people over and over if they sin against you (Matthew 18:21-22). He didn’t say just if they only offend you a little bit, or once you’ve relished in your anger a little bit, then forgive them. There were no conditions. Just like there are no conditions to our forgiveness.
Part 2 will be up tomorrow! 🙂