Have you ever met someone who you connect with instantly? Or someone who stirs trouble continuously? Or is just unforgettable? Yes, we all have. But what is the reason that certain people leave an impression on us?
I met someone several years ago that I connected with and developed a friendship. I noticed that when we got together, we talked a lot like friends do; however, I started to notice that we talked less about stuff and more about people. God convicted me about my tendency to gossip, mostly innocent comments made (no malice involved on my part).
As I examined my heart, I discovered comparison and a little jealousy. My jealousy wasn’t about looks, money or kids. It was all about being accepted into a group. I wanted to be included. Others came into our larger group and seem to be accepted instantly. But I wasn’t and I was hurt. I asked “why” to God a lot.
I severed my ties with my friend because I did not find it a healthy relationship. But I mourned the loss of the friendship. You see I sought God’s direction regarding the friendship. He pointed me to scripture after scripture to leave the friendship alone. But I knew better than God did, right?
Wrong, so wrong. A blow up happened and it was not pretty. You see, gossip was a part of the friendship. But when I questioned the facts, resistance happened, and it was not pretty. Our friendship died a very ugly death. But I still mourn the loss. It has been years, and I find myself thinking of this person.
God revealed to me through scriptures and during my worship time, I was seeking approval from all the wrong people. I was trying to fit into their world however I could. Instead of focusing on Him, I was focusing on them. My connection with one person almost ended my marriage (trust was broken-yes, trust, but not because of an action but because of well-meaning words), it ended my involvement in my church, and a period of isolation became my norm. My marriage took a hit because my husband wanted to help fix what wasn’t his to fix.
So, what is the purpose of sharing all this with you? Well, someone has left an unforgettable presence in or on your life. My guess you have someone who mistreated you, hurt you in some way. Well, let’s talk forgiveness. First you need to find God’s way to forgive them. We are called to forgive others as God forgives us. Holding onto hurt, only hurts us and our relationship with God. If you cannot forgive, you will not be forgiven. Bitterness has a way of finding an unforgiving heart. Scripture says “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 and “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-21.
When we hold onto the hurt, bitterness, rage, slander and malice set in. But more importantly, separation from God because of our sin. I find when forgiveness is difficult for me, praying comes easily. You cannot change a person, but God can. Ephesians 6:18 “In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that not one falls behind or drips out.” You cannot pray for someone in all sincerity until God changes your heart towards them. This is a warfare of the heart. Start with a simple prayer of well-being for that person. God will change the prayer.
My friend is no longer in my life but is in my prayers. My prayers for them consist of well-being, recognition of their sins, repentance and restoration with God. My prayers of forgiveness have been answered because I hold no malice towards them. I pray for them each time they come to mind. My hope for them is that God enriches their lives and reveals Himself to them in a “God-only-kind-of-way”.
Coffee with Friends, yes please. Even better coffee with God!