Today's devotional in Unity's booklet "Daily Word" was titled FORGIVE. I found that to be so appropriate at this time especially for myself. In the last few months, I had a strained relationship with a few family members whom I love very dearly.
The distance it created affected me in a bad way but I kept telling myself, "Well. they've been out of my life for so long I can continue without them." In a sense this was true considering when I graduated high school I basically "disowned" my family, moved to another state and stayed out of contact with all my relatives.
But the thing is... it NEVER was about whether or not they would play an active role in my life. It was about FORGIVENESS! It was about releasing the hurt feelings I harbored inside. It was about finally getting rid of the pain so I can move forward in my life with no resentment.
Of course, I always felt THEY OWED ME an apology but deep within my heart I KNEW, even though it felt wrong, I HAD to do what was right and be the first to apologize if I wanted to continue in my Spiritual growth.
After I apologized, I forgave them and vice-versa. I felt so much weight and burden lifted off me. I felt so free! I woke up this morning actually feeling brand new. I no longer have any qualms against ANYONE! I'm at peace and I'm stepping up to my next level, and lesson, of Spiritual maturity. I'm able to laugh with God as we reflect on my ignorance about the whole situation and I'm a step closer in my walk with Christ.
It isn't always easy to die to self but when we do, we are lifted up higher in Spiritual awareness. Our bondage to our selfish nature is broken. Yes, it does hurt. Yes, it is hard and often causes us to do a lot of debating over it. Especially, when we "feel" we were not wrong. But it isn't about who is right or wrong. It's simply about doing what needs to be done in order to create a united and healthy relationship. It's about accepting the realization that people WILL disappoint us, hurt us, betray us, and cause division amongst us.
But if we are to be in agreement with God we must always realize that He understands what we are dealing with because He also went through it when Jesus was betrayed by those He did so much for. Yet, just as Jesus did not harbor any ill will toward those who did Him wrong we must do the same. God asks us to forgive and love one another. It's never suppose to be about us. It's suppose to be about God and being obedient to Him --- whatever the cost.
Sometimes we view being the first to offer the olive branch as a sign of weakness, when in reality it shows how strong we really are. It's easy to hate or hold a grudge against someone. It takes a lot of courage and strength to be first to apologize, especially if we feel we weren't wrong. We become the bigger person when we reach out and do all that is necessary for peace amongst others.
Forgiveness sets us free! The best part is... it makes God happy and after all the bondage is gone we feel so much weight lifted from us. We are able to live a joyful life.
So if you are harboring any ill will towards anyone or if you are upset because of the actions of someone else, just FORGIVE! I'm sure there are actions you have done to someone that didn't please them and yet they let it slide. We will NEVER be able to fully please other humans nor will they be able to fully please us. We ALL have ourt faults but it's important to NOT let the faults of someone else separate us from the love for one another. We must always remember... it's not people nor ourselves that we need to try to please, it's God.
Set yourself free! FORGIVE!!!!
~ One Love ~
Colossians 3:13 If anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.