I can recall years ago a conversation that I had had with my wife. She was asking me about my relationship with my dad and why I do not interact with him. I shared with her about his absence and the pain resulting from him not being a part of my life when I was younger. I was now an adult and I decided that no interaction with him was the best kind of interaction for me.
I’m RW and let’s have a fireside chat about “Unforgiveness”.
My wife said to me “Can you forgive your dad?” I then replied to her “No I cannot forgive him”. I gave the famous response of “You do not know how I feel and you would not understand”. My wife then responded with “Let me make sure I understand. Jesus forgave you RW of all the mess, hurt, and sin you caused and do. However, you are not able to forgive your father? So if you are not willing to forgive your father then are you saying you are bigger than Jesus? Since Jesus forgave you then you must be bigger since you do not have to forgive others.” I know that I am not bigger than Jesus and her comment hit me so hard. You see I had a spirit of unforgiveness and pride.
My unwillingness to forgive reminded me of “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” (Matthew 18:21-35). I was the servant who was forgiven by the master (Jesus). But I was unwilling to forgive a fellow servant (my dad). In the parable the master of the servant finds out about his unforgiveness and placing him in jail. Thank goodness The Lord still loves me and still forgives me of my bad spirit. The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:8-10 “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities”
The Lord commands us to Love each other (John 15:12). So who am I not to Love others? It is not an option. Pride was a major issue. I needed to listen to what my wife was saying. She was correct. Proverbs 13:10 says “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”. These two verses speak volume to what was going on with me at that time. I had to humble myself and look to The Lord to show me how to forgive and love my dad. Jesus laying down his life for me showed the love He has for me and how I should love others (1 John 3:16). Jesus is asked “What is the Greatest Command?” His response “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27 and Matthew 22:37-39).”
As a Christian we have God’s word to help us understand what Love is. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…. (1 Corinthians 13)” I have forgiven my Dad and today I do have a loving relationship with him. Is there someone you need to forgive for some pain, heartache, anger or resentment? Remember the question “Are you bigger then Jesus?” Protect the Brand of Christ by not having a spirit of Unforgiveness but having a spirit of Love.