Sometimes the big stuff seems easier to forgive, right?
Something little happens and you’re irked, angry. It alienates friendships or family.
There you are, right on the edge of diving into all that God has for you and something small has tripped you up.
How do you forgive the little stuff so that you can experience all that God has for you? This is from The Unburdened Heart (page 180).
Living Grace in Real Life
I struggled years ago with living life as a forgiver, so I decided to study grace and discover how I could live in it. Those finding reshaped my relationship with God when grace became more than a theory.
Each day when I woke up, I spent time with my heavenly Father, not out of duty but because time with Him and in His presence changes me.
When I walked into that place, it was without guilt, without hang-ups. that was a conscious choice on my part.
Today, when I walk into this secret place (see Matthew 6:6), I do so knowing that God knows what I need before I even ask (see v. 8). if yesterday was hard, He already knows that; so I offer up every part of that day to Him.
If I struggled, He already knows that; so I hold up those struggles and ask for insight and wisdom.
If I am joyous, I don’t hold back that joy but celebrate it with Him.
Each day is a new opportunity.
When I fail, and I do, it isn’t an opportunity to heap guilt or obsess over that failure, because there’s no merit in it. It’s an opportunity to walk into the Source of grace and ask for forgiveness as I honestly repent and ask for direction and grace to do better. . .
When someone else fails, it isn’t an opportunity to heap guilt or obsess. . . wait, that’s exactly what I just said.
But that’s the reality of it. We give ourselves what God offers.
We offer to others what He has so graciously given to us.
This is charis (grace) transforms someone the most.
Many times it actually takes me further outside our comfort zones as you trust His leading and hear and recognize His voice and follow where He leads. It might lead to holding your tongue, or looking at the bigger picture, or sharing your need w/o heaping guilt.
All healthy grace-filled responses rather than lashing out or withdrawing or holding on to a grudge.
You can read more of this chapter in The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness.
Is there a frenemy God is leading you to forgive? Let’s pray together as you take that step. Remember, it’s not about their response. It’s about God’s invitation to you to forgive so you can live free.
This reading spoke right to my heart this morning. I am trying everyday to step back and let God show me the direction I am supposed to take in my marriage. I don’t know what it is, but I believe this “unknowing” time is the way God is building my trust in Him. I need to forgive my husband, and allow myself to move forward in order to see what God has planned for me. It seems hardest to forgive those who not only still walk in our lives, but continue to hurt us by their words and deeds. Today I will try to process more hurt, and allow God’s grace to flow over my pain, healing me.
Thanks for this. I might have said this before but lately God has laid it on my heart to start forgiving people that have hurt me, in the past and in the present. One person in particularly, I have actually said I forgive. Yet, it seems like she keeps doing things over and over to hurt me and then they are others who I have not said the words to but constantly ask God to help me forgive them and see them through His eyes has HE sees them and to realize that they are hurting people and has it is said “Hurt People Hurt People.” The hard thing for me is still keeping with the forgiveness attitude when I am constantly hurt by people, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Yet, I make it a point at least other day to say “I don’t know how to forgive, Lord, it is a process so help me to forgive and see the people that have hurt me as you see them. I DON’T know how to forgive so I need your help. I won’t be doing your study at this time, maybe in the near future. I find that I can’t read more than one book at a time, unless for school, in which there is not much leeway. Yet, when it comes to the things of God I want to be able to take my time and process the information so that I can not only be a hearer but a doer.
This has nothing to do with forgiveness, but lately I find myself asking God to help me apply your word and to open my ears and my heart so that I might hear what it is that you want me to hear and see what it is that you want me to see, so that I may live it out today.
So, today as I celebrate another birthday. I ask God even before the interaction with family and other people begin, to help me walk in His kindness and grace and to be the hands and feet and when hurt, go to God in prayer for He cares about ALL THINGS that concerns us.
Thanks for sharing this, Suzie. May God bless you.
I am always amazed at how I can handle something big with calmness and have a small thing snap me. I think the big things shock me fast into realizing that I can’t do it alone, paralyzing me, so that I allow God to take over. When it is smaller things my flesh just jumps in. I sometimes wonder if that is why God allows so many big things to happen in my life. I can see the logic. Praying I get it sooner or later that I need to allow the same thing to happen more often on the small issues.
I agree with your opening line, “Something little happens and you’re irked, angry. It alienates friendships or family.”
All my little frustrations with my 14 year old step-daughter (her lying, deception, manipulation, not doing her schoolwork, etc) piled up like bricks, one on top of the other, until there was a pretty solid wall of unforgiveness between us. I never intended it to be this way; I love her and want so bad for us to be close because I don’t have a daughter – I have 2 boys. But on June 21, she requested a meeting with her dad and I to tell us that she was having some problems that she felt could only be dealt with and worked through by “spending more time at her mom’s house”. This conversation has led my husband and I through a 3 week soul-search to pinpoint what we have done wrong, what we could have done different, and how we are going to mend this important relationship with our daughter. It has been 3 LONG weeks since we have seen or spoken to our daughter. She has refused any communication which makes it even more difficult, since communication is the core of resolving problems.
I have cried many tears as the many rejections that have occurred over the course of my 41 yr life have come flooding back to me. All the people in my life that decided they didn’t want me: all 3 of my father’s wives, including my own mother, who was killed by a drunk driver on the bridge that she lived under as a homeless vagrant; friends, would-be friends, countless faces of people who either didn’t think it was appealing enough, easy enough, or worthy enough to develop a relationship with me. As a result, I have difficulties developing and maintaining long-lasting and intimate relationships with anyone. I just don’t want to be hurt anymore, so I keep myself busy going from one task to the next to avoid intimate interaction with others. This has been to the detriment of a meaningful and lasting relationship with my daughter (who has been in my life and called me mama since she was 4 yrs old).
Forgiveness….I can’t even forgive myself, let alone even begin to find the strength to forgive her for breaking her father’s heart, for breaking up our scarred home (which is made up of his, mine, and ours – 3 kids), for walking away from people who love her and want the best for her. I cannot stop obsessing about the would haves, could haves, and should haves. I am holding on to God’s promises: Romans 8:28, mostly. I know God is in control and doesn’t waste anything. I pray that the enemy would release her from the doubts, lies, and manipulation she is being subjected to. But, if I were to be completely honest, I don’t know how to forgive…maybe I will just have to get through the grieving process, because that is how I feel…like someone has died.
Please pray for us.
Please please please get a copy of The Unburdened Heart, but also The Mom I Want to Be.
Rather than a simple comment to encourage you today, it would be 260+ pages in each book to help walk you through the feelings, both with your stepdaughter, and also with the hurt you experienced as a child. I believe strongly that there is hope, and healing ahead, and I pray that you’ll go right now and buy these today and begin that journey.
I pray that your stepdaughter sees in you a woman who won’t give up on her, even though she has hurt your heart. That she sees a woman who finds her strength and joy in God, no matter what life brings. That when she thinks of a woman of faith, she thinks of you, even though she’s not at a place maturity wise to say that or express it, but it begins to become ingrained on her heart.
I also want to recommend Laura Petherbridge’s book Smart Stepmom. She’s someone who has walked in your shoes, and has excellent, faith-grounded help for stepmoms.
I’m so glad you came by here today. I hope you come back again. I’m praying for you right now.
Thank you for your recommendations, and thank you even more for your prayers.