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Monday, November 16, 2009

Forgiveness

This is a very personal post but ya know what? Writing on this blog is how I deal. I get it all out and then I feel better...it works when I'm frustrated as a mom so why not with other things too? This is like my little journal, however I do have to be more discreet then I would be in a journal as it's a diary I allow anyone to read.

As Christians we are taught to confess our sins to God as well as to one another (James 5:16). A lot of the time, however, we're afraid to do just that! We'll make our sins right with God but will be too afraid to face the embarrassment or judgment of our peers to actually go down front at church and confess to our church family. This has always bothered me!!! I have told a million people that it's awful that people judge each other when we ALL sin (Romans 3:23)! This past week I've been faced with a situation where I must practice what I have been preaching, and it's much harder than I ever thought.

Our church has been turned upside down recently and it's a really tough situation. The person involved went down front and asked for forgiveness of the church for the sins they have committed. I wasn't there when this happened (Wednesday) as I was home alone with Mr. Kye and I actually somehow managed not to even hear about it until Friday. When I heard I was so upset. My first reaction was to do the right thing. The right thing is to forgive with open arms. But after thinking about it and having it hit me over and over it became harder to get past it. I know that in God's eyes all sin is equal. However, some sins are easier for us to forgive than others. If someone says a cuss word on accident it's understandable. Haven't we all done that a time or two? But some sins aren't accidental. We choose to do some things. We choose to lie. We choose to gossip. Even though those are sins people commit on purpose they still are pretty easy to forgive one another of since they are so common. But what about killing? stealing? adultery? Those sins aren't accidental, and they aren't just a simple choice. Those sins take planning. You have to have the gun, plan out the robbery, plan to cheat on your spouse. They are harder for us to forgive and it seems like a lot of the times that they are worse sins than others doesn't it?

When faced with having to forgive someone of a "bad" sin it's difficult. I know God forgives them, but do I? I know I need to but can I? Can we all? I have been thinking about this all weekend and it's pretty much consumed me (ask Zach he got SICK of hearing about it!). I realized that the reasons I have had a hard time truly forgiving are problems within myself and not the person I'm trying to forgive. Since I'm a "newer" Christian I tend to put people up on a pedestal. When I meet an awesome Christian I think they are perfect. The perfect example of how to be. That isn't fair to that person!!! NO ONE is perfect yet I sit there and think that these people are. So of course when they sin, as we all do at some point, it crushes me. It is hard for me to get past it because I just can't believe that they could do such a thing. This isn't the first time a person who I have thought of as "perfect" falls back to Earth. It happens with each person I consider perfect, so doesn't that show me that we all fall short, we all are less than perfect, we all are human?

The other reason I've had a hard time forgiving as I should is because I am afraid. This person is so strong and so close to the Lord. I hate to admit it but this person is waaaaay closer than I am. And if the devil can get into their life...how do I stand a chance against him? Not that I think I'd ever do the sin that they've done but it just make me scared. It makes me scared for myself and for my child and future children. We have to truly armor ourselves the best we can against the devil as he will do everything he can to get to us (Ephesians 6:11).

I've been communicating with this person and it's been helping me get through this. Like they pointed out to me people who have had this type of sin affect their life in some way in the past may have a more difficult time working through it and getting past it. We get clouded by our own experiences and fail to see that each person is different and they aren't the same person as who ever may have hurt us in the past. I'm proud of myself for seeing past my own experiences and being able to have open arms towards this person and that I do want so badly to truly forgive. I want to mean it and not just say it!

Through this I have become so, so proud to be a member of my church. I expected Sunday to be filled with lots of whispers but instead no one talked about it (at least not to me!). It's made me feel so good to see all the out pouring of love on Facebook towards the person who repented of their sins. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that we can find good in everything, even things that seem awful. Right now our church is hurting but I feel we will become stronger because of this. I pray that this person works through everything and that they are able to see a light at the end of all this. I pray that we welcome this person back into our family and that things go back as they were before. I pray that we all follow this persons example and feel more comfortable to confess our sins to each other. I pray we all learn to show our love to each other more and to be more quick to forgive one another.

For myself I pray that I can become stronger in God's word so I will build up my defense against the devil. I pray that I can teach my son to never let the devil win and that if he falters, as he will eventually, that he can always go to God and his church family and be forgiven, no matter what. I pray that I can work on realizing that no one is perfect and that we are all equal in God's eyes. That I am just as valuable to Him as others and that my faith and love of Him is just as important. I also pray that I can forgive others more quickly and overcome the quick judgments that we all so easily make. 

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15)

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