” Bitterness dampens and eventually destroys love for God. It eats away atthe statement ” God is love” and tells us He is not faithful.”
Dana and I where deeply wounded by some friends and past neighbors. I was sowounded and angry I felt like I was walking in knee deep mud. Emotionally I wasdrained,my joy was gone. Replaced by anger and resentment.
I new that I had to come to a place of forgiveness. Yet, I also knew that thiswas impossible for me to do by myself. I was so angry that I did not want toforgive them. After all we had done nothing to deserve the accusations thatthey had leveled at our family. (My first instinct was to do bodily harm onthese to men.)
So I started at the only place I could. I repented of my sinful attitude towardthose men and their families. I repented of my selfish desire to hold onto tothe anger and resentment. I then went to a group of Brothers and Sisters in theLord who I knew that I could trust and confessed the hurt. I confessed the factthat I was struggling to forgive and my desire to hold on to the bitterness,rage and hate.
They did not judge me, but rather gathered around me and prayed for me and myfamily as well as the two other men and their families. That night started ajourney toward forgiveness that took several months of repenting and crying outfor God to show me how to forgive.
I learned several things in this painful time in my life.
The first is that for us forgiveness is not always an automatic thing.It cantake months and longer if the wound is very deep. But we who follow Christ mustemulate him in every part of our being. We can not love Christ and walk inbitterness our whole lives. The second is UN-forgiveness and bitterness is sin.
It has no place in our lives anymore than adultery or Drunkenness.
Looking back I see now four steps that I took that helped me to eventuallyforgive them.
Here are the four steps.
1. Recognize your need to forgive.
2. Confess and repent of your unwillingness to forgive.
3. Go to the Brethren confess this to some Brothers and Sisters you know willnot judge and will seek God on your behalf.( Do not make this a pity party thisis confessing your sin. So do not try to win them over to your side. That isalso a sin.)
4. Seek the Holy Spirits help every day and night.
I confessed my UN-forgiveness every day and night for three months.
I finally new that I had reached the place of forgiveness when I could seethose men and not feel any anger or pain. The day I realized this fact I gotalone and worshiped. I was over joyed at what God had done in me through HisSpirit.