““Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own? Why do you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. You are a hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to get the dust out of your friend’s eye.”
Matthew 7:3-5 ERV
Matthew 7:3-5 ERV
I love to read. I love to read books involving spiritual growth. I really like to read devotions. About 50% of them deal, in some way, with people that are struggling with forgiveness. Everyone has been hurt by a family member, boss, friend, co-worker, ...you name it. Sometimes the hurt was small. Sometimes it was a gigantic betrayal.
I've noticed that people deal with hurt in many ways. Many turn to addictions to avoid dealing with the hurt. Food is a popular medicine to use when you are hurt. The enemy tells you that if you eat enough, you will feel better. I've never seen food cure the problem.
Alcohol or drugs have been used to ease the pain. That just causes more problems. Another popular way to ease the pain is entertainment. The enemy tells you that if you look at enough social media, enough tv, enough movies, enough travel to fun places- you will feel better. Nothing wrong with entertainment. However, it is not a substitute for a medicine that you need for a lonely, messed up heart.
I noticed that if you don't deal with it in a healthy way, the bitterness just grows and grows and threatens to destroy your life. I'm not a licensed psychologist but I know this to be true. You have to deal with your own heart and not wait on the other person to deal with theirs. There is nothing you can do to change the other person. You can pray for them but your words or actions can't change them.
While you wait on God to change them, your job is to look for logs in your own life and ask God to change you. I see that in my own life. When I get mad at Mark, the temptation is to point the flashlight on Mark. But that never, ever solves anything. It only makes it worse. And if I don't deal with it with wisdom, it just grows and grows. As soon as possible, I need to ask God to point the flashlight at me, do surgery on me and transform me.
If you are struggling with forgiving someone, even with a small thing, pull the weed out before it chokes you to death. If you are only 1% off in your spiritual life and you don't deal with it now, it will become 99% one day. I know some old people that started out with a lack of forgiveness and they thought that it would not hurt to hold on to it. It's not a pretty sight. Be kind to the old person that you will become.