Friday, May 22, 2009

Canceling The Payback

Hey Y'all!

It has been an interesting week. You know if somebody decided to secretly film my life and put it on TV as a reality show, no one would believe it wasn't a soap opera!

OK, so maybe it isn't that bad, but I would love having one week of carefree time...I'd settle for one day!

I'm not going to bother you with details, just pray...everything is minor but piled up!

Onto my thoughts about payback.

God has been teaching me a lot about forgiveness lately. He has shown me that although I follow the steps of forgiving someone and even say I forgive them. Although I ask God to forgive them and even try and reconcile when it is appropriate to do so, I have found that I have still not forgiven. I could not understand this. I have prayed for years asking God to help me forgive. I finally came to the wrong conclusion that forgiveness must be something you keep having to do until one day it just sticks. Like memorizing math facts. But then, something new would pop up and wham-o! I would realize anew the unforgiveness that was in my heart. I knew that something was missing! There was something I wasn't doing or needed to do to make forgiveness complete.

I'm so excited....God revealed it!

So...most of you may know this but I promise I did not!

True forgiveness means there is no need for payback! In fact true forgiveness means I ask God to wipe away the entire account....just like He did for me!

I finally got it! The account is wiped clean! I would say that I forgave that person but still expect some consequences or payback. I wanted either an apology (And lets be honest do we really get all those we deserve...or even give them?) or I wanted the person to get punished. But that isn't how God did my sins! He wiped the account clean. There isn't a ledger of past sins that are just marked forgiven...with God there is no ledger at all! Everyday starts a new account! Now....I am NOT GOD! But I can ask that He wipe the ledger clean for the ones who owe me. That is forgiveness!

Check out the parable in Matthew 18: 21-35. This is the story of the debtors. Read it with this in you know the king is God. You and I (Believers) are the 1st debtor. I heard recently that this man's debt was so big that it would have taken over 200,000 years to have payed it back. The truth was that just like you and me this man could not payback what he owed. We can't payback God with enough sacrifices to settle our sin accounts either. When the King had compassion he wiped the debt clean. (I had somehow thought that he allowed the man to begin paying it back) But it states clearly the debt was forgiven. Then the debtor left the Kings presence and demanded payment from a man who owed him much less. He punished this man both physically and punitively by putting him in prison. That too is me. I want punishment/justice from those who truthfully owe me far less than I have ever owed God.

So I have started going through my list of unforgiven people and been canceling their debt. Leaving the account to God not me.

This does not mean that I now run into the person's arms or place myself in harms way. It does mean that I am now free and they do not owe me anything!

I'll write more on this later I'm sure...this thinking is new to I know more insight is sure to come.

What do you think? Am I the only one who has struggled with this?
Let's talk!


Regina said...

No Pamela, you are not the only one who struggles with this. And this is something I am going to have to think over myself because it is new to me too. I struggle alot with understanding what forgiveness really is and if I have really done it. So with that being said I think that I will be thinking on this alot this weekend in my free time and look forward to hearing you share more as God reveals it. Maybe He will begin to show me too. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. I really miss you on Tuesdays. I hope that you are doing well. Love ya!

Kay Martin said...

Oh, yeah, payback!!! R.T. Kendall in Total Forgiveness and T.W. Hunt in the Mind of Christ were 2 books God finally got through to me what I had to learn about forgiveness.

When I pray for something I believe someone who has hurt me, etc. then I know I have totally forgiven them. Now, I find it amazing when Holy Spirit flows through me and I pray goodness in earnest for those who hurt or persecute me for living out God's directing.

The process of time for God to work through me keeps shrinking. Oh, I hope I live long enough for resentment or hurt to be only momentary whenever my needs are unmet or I am hurt.

Bless you beautiful writer!!!

Nicole said...

Great post friend. So glad God is teaching you on this subject. So important!!! Just like everyone else I have had to do my fair share of forgiving. Not easy, but so worth it! I found it easiest to forgive when I finally realized how sinful I am and therefore was able to let others of easier. We are nothing without Christ. The only good others see in us is Him. Amen?!?!

Beverlydru said...

Forgiveness... such a huge part of walking in love, which is the biggest goal of my life. Many years ago, I saw a painting by a talented artist that depicted God with his hands tied. The message was that when we won't forgive, we tie the hands of God and block his flow in our life. Blew me away.

LynnSC said...

Wise words Pamela. I am glad that you shared this with us. I have learned lots about forgiveness myself...

I miss you on Tuesdays...

Leebird said...

Thanks, I needed that. I am really struggling with forgiving a co-worker who has repeatedly "thrown me under the bus." I have to wipe her slate will be hard, but I must!

Love you...thanks for speaking the truth into my heart.

mpz3 said...

Awesome insights and incredible struggles, my dear. I love to read your posts and devotional thoughts. You are so real and open and I pray that I will become more like that as I learn more about forgiveness as well.

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Pam!!
((HUgz))) It's good to see you and read your post. It's been awhile and I know we get busy with life, but I found your link again after my computer crashed and I wanted to stop by and say hello!!!. I have found that forgiving is not so much for the person who wronged us, but more to free us from the bondage of bitterness and unforgiveness. Unforgiveness keeps us imprisoned and majority of the time those who we need to forgive just go on with their lives and not even worry or think twice about the ones they have wronged. Good post Pam a very important reminder and to ponder on.

Hugz Lorie

The SC Denneys said...

UUUUHHHGGGG!!!! Why does forgiveness have to be so hard? I like you, keep asking God to help. One day I think it is gone and oops it is back again. Thanks for the post. Maybe you will bring insight to me.