Psalm 139:1-3 (New International Version)
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
This morning I'm wondering about the tension between forgiving and offence and letting it go--and the importance of working it through to complete understanding.
Forgiveness--God just won't let us off the hook for it--and yet it's a complex business.
I read an amazing book by John Bevere years ago, The Bait of Satan. The "bait," is offense. The Enemy can ensnare us and poison us with the toxicity of an offense allowed to fester in a soul. I've bought and given away that book several times, and currently don't have it on my book shelf. I'll be buying it again, for it's a book I find helpful.
In the book I'm currently reading, How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding, by Doctors Henry Cloud and John Townsend, they talk in chapter 14, about the past, the present and the future, and I've found what they had to say, helpful.
They state that forgiveness has to do with the past, letting go of something someone has done to us. It takes only one to offer forgiveness. It's a choice that is ours.
Reconcilitation has to do with the present. This part isn't necessary in order to do the first--and it involves two people, usually one of whom accepts forgiveness and apologizes. I can testify to the rich blessings of working through to this point with a dear friend or two, or three.
Trust has to do with the future. It involves what you will risk happening again. A person must show through his actions that he is trustworthy before you will open yourself again.
One thing I believe for sure: relationship is the most important thing to God. I don't believe it matters to him what we do--as much as it matters what we are to one another.
Proverbs 4:23 (New International Version)
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.