For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14 & 15
These verses are marked and dated in my Bible. It was virtually life to me at one point and sure direction as to what I was supposed to do next. Forgiveness is not for the other person it is for you, for me. When we forgive we are released from the "death grip" of unforgiveness and bitterness. It doesn't mean we have to forget what happened, but we don't use it against that person or dwell on it any more. It is so freeing. When God led me to those verses many years ago, it was after I literally looked up to heaven and said "now what"? And HE sent me right to Matthew. I've been grateful ever since.
Oh, don't get me wrong, it's not as if I've never struggled to forgive since then. Hardly. But I understand the benefits of the commandments to forgive. I'd rather live in freedom than bitterness any day.
These days as I wrestle with forgiving different people in my life, I am again reminded to just choose forgiveness and walk without that burden. (as you know, walking is hard enough for me, let alone with the extra weight of unforgiveness...) Sorry, I digress. There are those that just say something "stupid" to me and I want to be angry. Others I think should be coming around and offering support. They don't. And I want to hold a grudge. My husband is choosing to walk away from his family (at least for this season) and, boy, do I want to get ugly. But who will that help? I may feel better for the moment, but that won't last.
IF my husband doesn't know Jesus, he needs to see me modeling Christ no matter the circumstance. Don's salvation should be more important to me than whether our marriage is saved, whether I get what's fair, whether he comes around and helps. My focus needs to change (once again) from me and my needs to Don and his need for the Savior. That's tough for me. My flesh cries out. But God is getting more and more of me these days and it's harder to block out His voice. I will still pray for the restoration of my marriage and our family. But I am committing to pray that Don will come to know The Healer to receive the healing he so desperately needs. We all need it though, don't we?
So, today I am going to choose forgivness. Wow, that feels good. I feel lighter already. God sure is a miracle worker because I love a good grudge. I've been praying for miracles. They're just coming in different forms. Although you should know I have been able to get out a little bit more and I am SO excited for that. God's doing a big work, I need to get out of the way and let Him.