i’ve just discovered that I’ve never really given grace

I’m so disappointed with my Christian enginiering. You know the place in your heart that spent a good deal of time learning what to and what not to say in order to look good. Yeah, you know the one… the socially acceptable Christian. The less “feeling” taste great Christian. It seems like for the first time in my life what I would have done is actually being over-rided by what I should do.

What kind of a sick place am I in right now in my life where I would actually want to give real grace? You know the kind of grace I’m talking about? Maybe you’re like me where all you’ve experienced passing out is the “oh yeah, I forgive” you type crap where you actually didn’t really get hurt to begin with but was just slightly disjointed. I actually want to forgive someone and it will truly mean giving up something. Where is that surface, ignore mode guy, self affirmed and justified joker in my life? I mean I’m really upset because this will mean that this person gets off scott free and that’s what I’m beginning to think will be okay with me? I mean by every experience I’ve ever had I should have told this sister in Christ where to go! Instead, I’m praying for her? I can’t believe that I’m actually pursuing someone who has hurt me tremendously. This is the kind of baloney people write about in books and give you steps to implement stuff. As I stop and think about it I realize that after I am done with this, and she is restored, there’s pretty much no reason why I won’t be able to love and forgive anybody for just about anything. Why am I not fighting this or looking for a convient out? It’s a blessing and a curse. She’s going to walk away with the greater offense and I am going to gain only the knowledge that I did the right thing. If all of you out there olny knew what had happened to me you would be saying, “dude are you serious? why didn’t you verbally retort or pull out all that scripture to run her into the ground with? she’s almost single-handedly dismantled your ministry!” You would look at me and say, “You want to actually restore her and pursue her?” Let me tell you that what I am experiencing right now, it’s no wonder I use to be so token. I’ve been a Christian for eighteen years and a full time minister for eight of those years and I’ve just discovered that I’ve never really given grace! God help me, because I think I’m growing as a Christian and relaize I’m going to lose myslef in the process.

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  1. I went through a similar situation as yours, but in an entirely different realm. Just a personal realm.

    I had someone in my life who meant a great deal to me who betrayed me. It took me six months of grief and pain to process what had happened. I wanted alternatively to hurt this person and run back to this person.

    Here’s what I felt I really needed to do. Love and forgive him. Jesus is very forthright about this. We must forgive others, even our enemies, and forgive them seventy times seven times. If necessary.

    I prayed about this, and sent love to him in my mind. I imagined a stream of light coming from my heart and connecting to his. I would imagine Jesus standing between us, connecting us with His light, and sending healing love between us.

    Two very remarkable things occurred. First, after praying intensely and sending love and light to this person, I received, at the exact same time that I was praying, a long email from this person, that was loving and caring. This blew me away. He had never written anything like this before.

    Second, after reading a sermon by Thomas Hooker about how God gives us gifts, then takes them away, I realized I had never really respected what God had done in removing this person from my life. I was fighting God. I was completely blown away by Thomas Hooker — my mind was opened in a entirely new way, and I felt like I needed to seek forgiveness for my resisting what God was telling me through circumstances.

    At that moment, the phone rang. It was my friend who had betrayed me!

    I thought, “Here’s my chance to practice what I have been praying.” So I loved him entirely as I spoke to him. Just was loving and accepting. I even told him I loved him at the end of the conversation, and he told me he felt the same.

    After this conversation, I felt a final sense of peace about it all. I no longer dwell on the incident or the person who had hurt me. It’s just completely gone. Which is another miracle.

    So, even if you’re terrified to forgive her, because you feel you’ll be letting something go, you will be actually gaining something much more precious: peace of mind. And, if you’re like me, you might receive some very curious surprises along the route to forgiveness.

    I have only touched on some of the more outstanding incidents that happened, but several other notable happenings occurred when I prayed that convinced me God was hearing me and responding.

    It may seem strange, but use your suffering and pain to your advantage — it’s easier to pray when you’re in pain than not. And easier to get results because prayer tends to be most intense when we’re feeling a great deal. Which is a whole ‘nother subject.

  2. I completely understand your feeling of fighting tooth and nail against God changing me but not being able to stop it. In fact that seems to be the only way he can get to me. It’s horrible, but I just hope he doesn’t stop.

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