People often ask, “How do I know if God is speaking to me?”
God can speak in so many different ways, and I think it can vary with every personality. First and foremost, He speaks through His Word. I have found that when God really wants me to get something, I see it everywhere.
Daily Bible reading
Sunday school lesson
Blogs or posts
Conversations with friends
Sometimes, I get the same theme from one or two of these places. I have had several occasions where I hear the same message from every source on that list. For probably a month this summer, I was hearing from every direction about forgiveness.
Many times, when the topic of forgiveness is placed before me, I seem to think it isn’t an issue for me. I think, maybe because I have good parents, a good husband, good friends, good church, that I don’t really have to worry too much about forgiving. Or that, at least it isn’t an issue for me.
My heart is this unlikely blend of blind loyalty and stubborn grudge-holding. I am uncertain how those two opposite ideals co-exist in the same individual, but I suppose we can all be opposites within ourselves at times. No one is just one thing. Nor do we only feel one emotion at a time.
When I love, I love fully and pour out myself. I tend to give too much of myself. (Enneagram 2) I want to believe the best about people. But if I am truly offended or find myself feeling underappreciated (again, Enneagram 2), I clutch the hurt and anger for too long.
Daily forgiveness, letting go of little offenses, seems to be my struggle. Holding on and being the victim – this is where my stubbornness comes in. Instead of moving on, I dwell on how I was hurt. I hate that so much in others, yet here I am doing it myself.
Since I am at home with my kids everyday I interact with them more than anyone else, especially since we just spent the summer together. With my boys, I struggle with thinking of their disobedience as cumulative. Each time one of them doesn’t do what they are told tends to add to my frustration or anger. If you have read much of what I write, you know this is a regular struggle for me. Managing my anger and frustration is a constant battle, I know this. However, I hadn’t thought of it from the perspective of forgiveness.
I can hear Jesus calling me to forgive them for each act.
If someone does something wrong one time, it’s easier to forgive. It’s the times when the same thing happens over and over that is seems to be more difficult to forgive. My human mind hangs on to the hurt. I am inclined to keep a mental record of wrongs. I don’t even realize I am doing it. But when the same thing happens for the umpteenth time, I explode as if all of the previous times are happening right now as well.
Thank you, Jesus, that You do not do this to me.
Jesus, You are patient, You are kind. You do not envy or boast, You are not proud. Jesus, You are not rude, or self-seeking. You are not easily angered, and You keep NO RECORD OF WRONGS. Jesus, You do not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. Jesus, You always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. Jesus You never fail. (from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Psalm 103:8-18 says:
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments! (NLT)
I have to renew my heart daily with the Blood of Jesus. I am not able to forgive on my own, even the little people I love the most. I must ask the Holy Spirit to be my eyes so that I see people like He does.
I laugh at myself, thinking forgiveness wasn’t that big of an issue for me. How prideful and ignorant and blind I am to have thought so childlike. I’ve asked God to bring to light the things I need to ask him for forgiveness, and he has not failed.
I pray that He will renew my mind so that I can let each offense fall away and not be remembered. I pray that I can love like Jesus, forgive like Jesus.