Monday, November 23, 2009

You Don't Need An Apology...

This week I received an email from Sylvia Gunther who does a weekly email like mine called “The Father’s Business.” This particular issue’s title was “You Don’t Need An Apology, You Need God.” The article’s first paragraph reads, “It is inevitable in a fallen world that offenses will come. Each time we face a choice to nurse unforgiveness and bitterness or receive the offense as an opportunity to grow in God. Too many of our prayers are about fixing some person or situation to our satisfaction. God says, ‘You don’t need to fix the person or circumstances. You need Me! Put your hand in Mine! Commit to seeing Me in this. I am inviting you to go to a deeper place in My heart.’”

Wow! This past week I had the opportunity to speak to a group of people about a time in my life when I experienced some deep wounds and betrayals. With the perspective of a few years to look back on that time I can see more clearly my own sin and pride amidst that whole ordeal.

I can remember my judgmental, critical spirit. My anger towards those I felt were doing an injustice often wasn’t a “righteous” anger. I cared too much about my reputation. I longed to be vindicated. I wished ill on those who had wounded me. I was slow to forgive. And above all of these things I longed to hear from someone, anyone…an apology. I mistakenly believed that was necessary for my healing. But as Ms. Gunther writes, “I didn’t need an apology, I needed God.” And God in His merciful wisdom never allowed one to come to me.

I don’t think there is anything like betrayals that can better lead us to depend upon the cross of Christ. If He went to the cross to pay for our worst betrayals of Him and allowed Himself to be betrayed by His close friend to go there, then He can enable me to extend the same forgiveness I have received to others—no matter how unfair the treatment or how absent of apology. For nothing was more unfair or unjust as the cross of Christ, perfect Man paying for the sins of each of us in our helpless, hopelessly condemned state. It was there that His perfect justice and mercy met.

Whenever I am wrongly treated, wounded, hurt or betrayed it is an opportunity, a test, to see how much I am growing in my understanding of the gracious wonder of the cross of Christ.

So whether the offense comes to me from outside the home or within, I need to choose forgiveness in His strength. The choice is mine. Will I become deformed or transformed, bitter or better? To boldly choose to forgive is a process. Sometimes I just “need to be willing to be willing” to forgive. If I don’t learn this lesson it will not impact just me but my family and all others I come into contact with!

“Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison.” (Hebrews 12:15)

Forever Grateful For The Cross,


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