When I saw “that lady” my skin cringed a little.
She’s the one who offended me.
The one who deserves my annoyance.
The lady I really didn’t want to see.
It’s nearly impossible to wrap your arms around the word “love,” when you have your arms crossed with hate.
She didn’t hit me like a monster truck might, with an intentional crash, but still she her hit-and-run approach was something I took note of. Intentional or not, she caused damage.
And, I wasn’t going to let her get away without paying damages.
How do you let go when another doesn’t realize the damage they have done?
Don’t they deserve to know how they’ve injured you?
I wanted the reparations that should be mine. My heart was demanding it, although know one would ever know about that little secret.
I knew my insides were ugly, but I couldn’t seem to get my insides – out – out into the hands of God.
She was seen with a halo, while I felt like a zero.
Sometimes, though, God works circumstances for our good, because he loves us and he knows our heart intends to be called according to his purposes (kind of Ro. 8:28).
Even when we don’t know how to work or are too busy working on the wrong think or are thinking in the wrong way or are messing up, God often still works things out when we turn to him and let him work out the knots of our tangled up his purpose.
When we come back to God, he backs near to our heart again.
When we see an opportunity to love, and put it above ourselves, the love of God shows up.
A friend approached me and basically said, “You know, you have something, a little piece of information, a little inside scoop that could help that woman (aka: frenemy) out. Why don’t you go over and share it with her.”
With her? The blessing-taker, the joy-kill, the bane of my burdens?
How can I give to the one who is loaded to the brim with liquid gold while I am drinking out of the plastic cup of nothingness? How can I give when she practically made my drink to taste so bad.
I don’t know about that.
My feet moved, but my heart stayed still. They moved me right in front of her. My mind said, “You can’t,” but my Spirit said, “You can.”
So, I did.
I poured out the information that she had been on the hunt for. I told her I would be her helper. I instructed her on the in’s I could have kept in, but instead I helped her out.
And, what I noticed, is that fears and pain and anger went out too.
They scurried away.
Giving took the eyes off of my pain and placed them onto my gift. A gift much like the one offered for me, a sinner who didn’t deserve love.
An undeserved gift, especially the act of forgiveness,
brings Jesus right to the center of relationship.
My arms came undone and fell open to receive and pour out love.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Mt. 5:44)
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. (Prov. 25:21)
God knows something we don’t (ok, a lot actually) and it is this: When we give to someone, we start to love them. We start to feel for them. We start to see that their issues are more about them, than they are about us. We start to see that they need us – and that we need them.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Prov. 11:25
As we reach out, we start to see all that is reaching into us through the act of love. We start to see it is not all about us and our rights, but it is simply about giving our rights to another, just as Christ did for us.
He is the justice-keeper, we are are the love extenders.
I learned, the joy is never found in the harboring of rights,
but it is always found in the helping of the hurt.
Forgiveness is the heart and soul of Christianity.
It is the feet – to love,
and the heart – to relationship.
As you let your feet move,
your feelings eventually follow.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Mt. 6:14
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24 CommentsLeave a comment
Wowza, pretty convicting for me today. I’ve been wrestling a lot with comparison, and this is a great reminder that sometimes the best thing I can do when I feel jealous or hurt is to intentionally do something to build the other person up (instead of myself). Thanks for sharing!
I know how it is to compare Lauren. It can be really hard to see someone else going so far and doing far better. I am praying you and I can build up when we stand on unsteady ground.
This has been so very heavy on me lately.
I am praying that the lightness of our Lord’s burden, can replace this heavy one for you. I understand what you are feeling.
Beautiful! Love that you walked in obedience into what God was prompting you to do. Love your heart to follow Him, dear friend!
It’s the only way to go. I have learned that one too many times; I start smacking my head into a wall when I don’t listen! Ha. Let’s walk in obedience, the alternative hurts…
It’s joy to share and thank you for your love.
Your willingness to obey God even when it is hard is beautiful ….so glad you found His joy in it…This is true: “He is the justice-keeper, we are are the love extenders.” …Yes, only by His grace…many blessings to you, my friend 🙂
Dolly, blessings right back to you. I pray that Christ’s love is deeply rooted in you and in all your days.
Kelly, this is a phenomenal read! Thank you for honestly sharing your heart! I have been there. Forgiveness is tricky business but God gives us grace as we go through it. Blessings today!
Thank you Stephanie. I am glad that it spoke to you. It is so tricky and we have to do it so often, but God’s love guides us.
Yes, yes. I hear you well …
Hi Kelly!! Thank you so much for sharing, this is something that I’ve been struggling so much with lately. It’s been with the guy who I thought I was supposed to marry, I was completely blindsided almost 7 months ago. I’ve been having this overwhelming feeling to pray for him and to reach out. At first I told God no way, I don’t want anything to do with him anymore. Needless to say I lost that fight, I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m going to trust and let Him handle it!
I can only imagine this is so hard Abby. There must be so much pain wrapped into this. If you follow God, he will never lead you wrong. Praying over this for you.
Dear Kelly, I’ve been so full of fear about my deep desire for (my idea of) justice and lack of self control. It’s cost me plenty, not the least of which was working for my “dream” employer. I’ve interviewed for a job and await word of a job offer – or not. I’m worried either way! If I get the job, will I be able to trust God and not lose self control when -not if- i feel someone has wronged me? I can be so hard headed and slow to learn. At the same time, if they don’t offer me the job, what will I do then? I’ll turn 54 in 2 weeks. I’m single – again – not by my choice. Please pray for me to believe God is for me and with me and strong in my sin and weaknesses. Thank you and may God bless you.
LC, I understand what you are saying. I am deeply sorry for the pain you have had to endure. I do praise God that he really seems at work through you. Your pursuit of him, even through reading these posts, is noticed. He is working. Be not discouraged. I know the past can look disheartening, but take heart, he has overcome the world. I am praying for you and that you are strong. Much love to you.
I struggle with this more often than I would care to admit.
Love your words and heart here!
I hear you Sarah. There are mounds and mounds of grace awaiting you and me.
What power of relief we get even in the hardest obedience.
Thank you my dear friend. I enjoy taking time read your post.
God bless you
Oh Ifeoma, how true it is. We get a flood of relief. Thank you for reading my words today.
Kelly, What a beautiful act of kindness and forgiveness. Restoring relationships is important. Here you shared how it is possible. I admire the strength you found in giving to someone who was unkind to you. I loved your thoughts,” He is the justice- keeper; we are the love extenders.” Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for your words to me. I am so glad that God worked in my heart this way; I felt so much better afterwards. I so value your comment and thank you greatly for joining me here today.