Monday, July 16, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Let It Go


Don’t Nurse It. Don’t Rehearse it. Let it go.
A devotional written by Nanci Rubin

"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men." ~Acts 24:16 (KJV)

I cannot tell you how much time I’ve spent looking in the rearview mirror of my life and questioning why God didn’t answer my prayers. I have been so myopic over the hairline fractures in my life that I was blinded to what God had for me. There was a season where it seemed every sermon I heard dealt with past offenses and forgiveness. It took me over a year before I got it! You cannot see where God is leading when you’re looking backward. I can see now how God had things He wanted to get to me, but I was too dumb to receive them and beyond stubborn to forgive, which would have enabled me so I could.

When one is betrayed it opens one up for a tremendous propensity to not forgive and to become a martyr. I kept the pain of my betrayal hidden, or so I thought. I absolutely refused to give it up. It was my pain and I reveled in it. In the midnight hour I would rehearse the pain over and over, sometimes I mentally plotted revenge. I had imaginary conversations with my betrayer that I could never have had in reality. Somehow these nighttime scrimmages lent a measure of relief from the continuous pain I lived with. Make no mistake, betrayal is toxic. Unforgiveness is unhealthy and it kept me tied to the one I had been hurt by. Until I was willing to confess my unforgiveness and pray a blessing over those who had hurt me did I finally have peace over the pain of betrayal. I was stuck in my own misery.

We have to be mindful of the necessity of forgiveness. In Matthew 6:15 (KJV) Jesus said, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” He couldn’t have said it any simpler, we are compelled to forgive. It’s not an option, we need to do it.

We must be careful not to say we won’t forgive someone. I had a pastor many years ago, a wonderful man of God, married to an anointed woman gifted with a music ministry. The church prospered under their leadership and God was blessing it then overnight, it all fell apart.

The pastor’s wife had an affair with one of the deacons, but to add insult to injury, it was the pastor’s best friend. He could have chosen NOT to forgive, but he didn’t. He did not become embittered. Everyone in the church was in total awe of his ability to forgive.

Revenge not only lowers you to your betrayer’s lowest level, what’s worse, it boomerangs. One who seeks revenge is like a fool who shoots himself in order to hit his enemy with the kick of the gun’s recoil.

Revenge is the most worthless weapon in the world. It ruins the avenger, all the while confirming the enemy in the wrongdoing. All of this is the beginning of a root of bitterness. And what strange things bitterness can do to us. It slowly sets, like a permanent plaster cast, perhaps protecting the wearer from further pain but ultimately holding the sufferer rigid in frozen animation. Feelings and responses have turned to concrete. Bitterness is paralysis.

Bitterness is a cyclical, repetitive, tightly closed circle of self-centered pain. It carries us around and around the same senseless arc, around and around ourselves. Like a child learning to ride a bicycle, knowing how to ride but not how to stop, we pedal on and on, afraid to quit, yet wishing desperately for someone to come and take the handlebars, break our circling, and let us off. Bitterness is useless. Repayment is impossible. Revenge is impotent. Resentment is impractical.

Only forgiveness can reconcile the differences and restore healing to a relationship. God knew that we could not hold to offenses because offenses will eventually take hold of us. I am proud to report that my Pastor NEVER carried unforgiveness or bitterness. He befriended and continued to pastor the man he trusted most and who’d hurt him most. Although his marriage failed God blessed him years later with a wonderful woman of God who stands with him in their ministry. He has been blessed beyond measure. But would this have been his outcome if he’d held to unforgiveness? If he’d nursed his pain? Rehearsed his revenge?

No, God said we must forgive, and in doing so we can receive healing. Let’s not hold offenses and be locked to the past. Let go and allow God to intervene.

~*~
Author Bio:

Nanci writes Inspy Amish romance. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two fur kids, Romeo and Juliet, rescue cats. She is working on her debut novel, Plain Justice.

She retired earlier than planned from nursing to care for her mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her mom passed last year at the age of ninety-nine and Nanci has delved more into her writing.

She is active in an intercessory prayer ministry in her church, belongs to The Woman’s Club, a service-oriented volunteer organization dedicated to the welfare and enrichment of the community and volunteers two days a week at the Mary Washington Museum.

Currently, she's enrolled in Rhema Bible College’s correspondence Bible studies. She belongs to ACFW and RWA. When she’s not working, reading or writing she’s hiking with her husband at Shenandoah National Park.
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1 comment:

  1. I think what is much harder to deal with after you have forgiven a person is not becoming jaded and I am seeking God for answers on that. Being jaded can affect future relationships so I pray we as humans would be careful with our hearts, but not become jaded. There is a balance in there somewhere and we must find it.

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