In the last week God has continued to organize all my thoughts but the end of last week – well, things got rather hectic and even chaotic as my day went on. I had to wonder why….
One morning later in the week, I jumped square into life with trying to figure out some major plumbing issues in our house. Kinda like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Then I became engrossed in caring for a lame horse of which I know NOTHING about horse issues – Google has become my best friend though! 🙂
Three little girl haircuts and coming home to the dog vomiting is enough to just round out the day! Through it all, I still couldn’t shake asking God “What are you trying to teach me?” He kept speaking to me through memories of topics through John Piper’s talk at Passion.
One day I was able to have a conversation with a friend that was struggling with some forgiveness issues. She is a wonderful, growing, Christian girl who seeks God in so many ways. However, I am not sure she even realized how the bitterness was coming through in her words.
In fact, God obviously had me on a research process because I ended up talking with 3 people in a 48 hour period that were struggling with the same dilemmas. As crazy as this may sound I have learned to admit that we all have forgiveness hangups of some shape or size. Whether we are old, middle age or even young. It is a ploy from the enemy to get us side-tracked and off living in that place where we are connected to his Grace and Mercy as well as understanding His Forgiveness of us.
I asked this friend a question that I know only the Holy Spirit could send directly to my heart. “What purpose does it serve to hold onto the un-forgiveness?” It robs of us our Joy, it brings more confusion to the plate and the bitterness that we have toward others can totally disrupt our lives in a flat second. It also keeps us from bringing Glory to God in our lives that we live.
Let me explain a story that John Piper also shared with the Passion Conference kids that might explain where I am coming from.
Piper said, “Suppose I asked you why you want to get an A in a particular class? The student would say, “because I want to attend Graduate School.”
Which leads to another question to take thoughts a little deeper.
John Piper: “Why do you want to attend Graduate School?”
Student: “So that I can become a counselor and help people”
John Piper: “Why do you want to help people with counseling?”
student: “Because my family had some troubles a while back and the counselor helped us so much…I want to do that…help others, and getting to know them – that makes me happy.”
John Piper: “Why does helping others make you happy?”
Piper states that it is somewhere in these fundamental questions that we get four levels down … to the bottom lying answer of what makes us happy? The answer is foundational in exactly who we are. What makes us who we are. Are we at the bottom? Wanting God to make much of us or is God at the bottom wanting to make much of us so that we can make much of Him?
He stated, “All of our joys have a foundation – except one – the one that’s at the bottom. What makes you happy is who you are – either making much of self, or making much of God.”
When we are at the bottom – we are selfish in all our desires because we think God can make much of us because of how it makes us look. I have found that sometimes when I place myself at the bottom even in an unintentional way then I live in that world where anger and selfishness reside because I am “entitled” to my feelings. Jesus doesn’t reside in my heart at that moment.
I want to be in a place where God makes much of me because He receives the Glory and Him alone. Lots of things can keep me from doing that and un-forgiveness is just a place that he is wanting me to get rid of at the moment. I have to first understand how much I am forgiven by God in order to forgive others. It’s a two-way street.
As I spoke with these individuals, I shared with them 3 practices that I have been trying to adopt in the last couple of months to help me.
1. Come before Almighty God and humble yourself to ask for Forgiveness for harboring the un-forgiveness that so easily entangles you. This make take some time on your part – not God’s!
2. STOP speaking negatively about that person. It becomes fuel for the FIRE of un-forgiveness in your heart. In 99% of cases it doesn’t solve anything…just keeps you in that place of being at the bottom. Take your request to God instead to bring healing in that person’s life.
3. Leave it at Jesus’ feet. Remember you don’t want the bitter and anger or un-forgiveness to creep back in and take your JOY!
Are you at the bottom of your Joy or is God?
Has un-forgiveness crept into your heart?
Thanks for letting me sort and share today!
Since some of you have shared how much you enjoy the songs part of the blog – Here is a treasure! It is from the movie Amazing Grace that tells the story of how the song became into existence long ago. Gonna have to find this one and watch it! 🙂