Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two Sides of Bipartisan Forgiveness

What about when it’s us
Who are hurting so bad?
Resentment, it climbs
It continues to make us sad.
This is where our trust in God
Helps as we routinely rely,
Being honest with God,
Is power nobody who’s tried it can deny.
When resentment mounts it’s time to enter the prayer closest: to confess the resentment and allow God to deal with our own hearts in order to heal us. Such prayer, however, needs to be done with regular routine. It won’t happen overnight, but healing will eventually happen.
Additional to prayer is the counsel of a close friend – one who may be relied upon to give us the truth in love, and who possesses the scruples of God.
If we are to take our hurts beyond resentment and into the lands of forgiveness for healing we will surrender our possession of will before God. Resentment is no good action and dealing with those climbing itches of relational rebellion is a courageous and blessed work.
***
All we can do
Is to do our part,
Then trust God
To deal with their heart.
Relational forgiveness is always a two-way street. That’s why it can be frustrating and hurtful. It’s a great blessing, therefore, when we accept what we cannot change, and we trust God to work in their heart in our Lord’s time, and in his way. And if they are not to change we are still hopeful we can accept they will never change. Accepting the things we cannot change is the greatest agent for peace.
We might forgive them, but that is no guarantee of their forgiving of us. This is a sad reality, but it proves all the more that we have no control over others besides our gentle influence, our prayers, and the Spirit’s conviction.
All we can do is do our part, and do it well. As we model a redemptive philosophy for living we invite the other to reciprocate, but are invitations are just that – an invitation. The privilege of invitation is that it may be refused or rejected at no risk to the party doing the refusing or rejecting.
***
Bipartisan forgiveness is the equal transaction for grace and mercy given by and enjoyed by both. All we can do is do our part, leaving them to consider their part. Acceptance is the masterstroke of maturity. All we can do is attend to our mounting resentments.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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