A THORNY HEART OF UNFORGIVENESS
UNForgiveness: When we say we forgive but act contrary our actions reveal a "thorny" heart.
Have you ever been rejected by a person?
Have you ever offended a person by rejecting them?
In both cases, where you are either the one who was offened or the one who caused the offense, forgiveness of both parties will be necessary.
I remember when I was rejected, I discovered that it took me years to really heal from that. And I couldn't truly forgive the person until I was healed. I nursed the pain of the rejection by revisiting it in both my thoughts and my actions. I would search out people to talk to about the situation; looking for an "Amen corner" someone or a group of people who would see the situtaion from my point of view and either empathize or sympathize with my pain.
Who was on "my side? Why did they reject me? I'm a good person.
Will anyone listen to me?
In my insecurity, I needed the validation of others who would say, "yes, that person did you wrong? yes, that person is a bad person" But the validation of men/women don't really stop the pain!! In fact it just adds to it. Why, because your heart is not pure when you are seeking their validation. In truth, you are seeking passive revenge by trying to get others to "side" with you. You are forming a resistence against the invisible foe called.... pain!
Could it be that your reaction to the rejection is also sin? Therefore you run away from God and run to people. A person operating in sinful anger can never stand before God justified! When you stand before the Lord, complaining about how someone did you wrong, His holiness will check your heart. The sinful anger that is present will be dealt with before anything else. It just won't work.
On the other hand when you are the one who has rejected someone or caused someone some sort of pain, and the result is that they run around searching for an Amen Corner, and contact anyone who will listen and side with them on how horrible you are for rejecting them; you then may find yourself again in sinful anger but see it as righteous indignation.
Why must they continue to be nice to my face but talk about me behind my back.
Why can't they just move on and stop talking about me!!!!!
But friends, righteous indignation is when you suffer for CHRIST's sake or for some injustice.. not your own relationship choices!! That's a hard pill to swallow isnt it? The truth is, God doesn't hold you responsible for what OTHERS say, do or think. But He will deal with how you react to them. He will deal with YOUR words, actions, and thoughts towards that person.
You are angry at them for acting out in their pain. Maybe, they CAN'T move on until they have been healed from the pain you caused them. Maybe your rejecting them was what finally broke them after a series of being rejected by many other people.
So in BOTH instances, you will have to deal with YOUR unforgiveness of the other person as well as your sinful anger. Notice I didn't just say anger. Being angry is not a sin. But what you think and say and do while angry can become sinful anger. In other words, when you are more concerned about self than giving God glory and being honorable and righteous before the Lord in that situation; when you are deciding to take matters into your own hands in self-focused self-preserving or in a vengeful way then that is when you have gone wrong.
But how do we transition from a hurting vengeful heart to a heart of filled love and peace?
9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
A clean heart is not one that doesn't ever get hurt or never gets angry. A clean heart is one that is wrapped up in Christ so much that when offenses DO come or when you are the offender, that heart runs back to the cross and wraps itself around it even tighter!!
It is easy to SAY that you forgive but it is another thing to take your thoughts captive and force them to be obedient to Christ. You purposely cast down EVERY imagination -- those are the pictures you play over and over in your mind of things that a person MIGHT be saying or doing against you but you really don't have any proof that they are doing it. The very "imagination" of them doing something to harm you in some way is causing you to be hurt or angry. Its a battlefield in your mind!!
2 Corinthians 10:5
3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Battlefield is YOUR MIND!!!
To put on the mind of Christ about the situation versus seeking revenge for rejection or being angry at someone who is angry with you and acting out of their pain in a vengeful manner against you.
17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good
Sometimes we try to be "fake nice" to people who are acting unkind towards us just so it will "heap coals of fire on their heads". But having this as a motive is sinful anger and vengeful "kiindness" not sincerity. It would be better that you did nothing than "fake it till you make it". Everything you "fake" will be in heaven's record of your acts while on this Earth. Please don't listen to people who tell you to "fake it till you make it".
Stay before the Lord, renew your mind with His word, and act from a sincere heart instead of a heart filled with sinful anger and vengeance.
I WANT PEACE LORD!!!
So how do we get from being hurt, walking in sinful anger, and vengeful "kindness"
to a clean heart and renewed mind and walking in love?
Change what you THINK about....and you will change how you FEEL and you will change what you DO!
6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
I believe that scripture has said it all!!!