Pastor Phil spoke last night about remaining resolute during times of frustration, defeat, and failure. He reiterated the necessity of forgiving those who have hurt you or failed you in order to move on to new victorious territory. When he spoke those words, I immediately knew who I needed to forgive. I thought that I was complete with the forgiving process...until...Pastor Phil said, "Now begin to pray for blessing on those who have failed you..." The thoughts that ran through my head were "Uh..what? Did I hear you right? Yeah, I'm not so sure I'm ready for that craziness!" To be honest, I just couldn't bring myself to follow through with that last night.
Someone hurt me. Bad. I can forgive them, but pray for them?? Ask for blessings on their life?? That seemed a bit extreme to me. It's especially hard when they continue to hurt others as they have hurt me. I told God that I just wasn't in that "phase of forgiveness" yet. I talked myself in to believing that forgiveness is a "process", and that I was allowed to take my time in getting there.
But, I've had these convicting thoughts through out my day. What if Jesus had treated me that way? What if he said, "Yes, I can forgive Bethany, but I'm not ready to bless her." That notion sickens me. Not only has Jesus forgiven my sin, he's forgotten it, and has blessed my life beyond comprehension. I must treat others, as Jesus has treated me. That is an act of worship.
I am going to pray for the person who hurt me. I am going to bless them. Will it be easy? No. Is it absolutely contrary to what my heart feels? Yes. Will I have to pray for the strength to utter those words? It's probably the single hardest thing I have done. But, I believe that this act of obedience is a way to show Jesus that I love Him, and am thankful that He's forgiven me. I can't wait to embrace the freedom that is going to follow. Amen!