Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Chapel this morning was on forgiveness. FORGIVENESS.

God has put this are of spiritual growth in my path so often this past year that with a smile I began to reflect on all the people God had brought into my life, the forgiveness that has been learned and mutually exchanged, and the friendships that now thrive under the grace of God. I settled back into my seat and began to take notes under a blanket of "I'm so glad God's already dealt with my heart in this area" happiness.

As chapel continued, my joy only grew. How nice to be able to sit in chapel, soak in God's truth, and for once NOT be convicted about an area of my heart that God wanted to work on! And then it happened.

The 'examine your heart' prayer. The 'ask the Lord to reveal your bitterness' altar call. My heart slowly tightened. This couldn't be right! I didn't hate anyone! I wasn't bitter...I wasn't hurt...there wasn't anyone I need to forgi...oh.

"Oh Lord. Not HER. Haven't you seen the pain she's caused? The lives she's affected? The things she's done?"

To you? 

"Well no, not to me...but that's what makes it so awful! She's hurt my friends! The people I love!"

So it's okay to hate her? 

"Lord, I don't HATE her."

Oh really? 

 "Of course not! You tell us not to hate. No, I just don't like her."

I see....you just don't like her. 

"Well....okay. Maybe really, really, STRONGLY dislike her."


"Okay. Maybe I don't hate her...but maybe I'm dangerously close. Maybe I want to sometimes. Maybe I hate the way she lies and attacks my friends and hurts them and just won't let go. She makes me ANGRY and I don't even really know her! All I see is the hurt and destruction and BLECH. She's done so much....I don't think I can forgive her. I don't want to. She's crossed too many lines."

More than you? 


Her sin. The pain she's caused. It's worse than yours? 

"Lord, that's really not the-"

You've sinned. You've lied. You've caused pain and destruction and BLECH. 

"Well yeah I GUESS, bu-"

How much forgiveness do YOU deserve? How many hearts have YOU wounded? How many times have you pushed people, and even Me away because you just didn't want to let go? 

"LORD. This really isn't about ME."

And it isn't about her. I don't ask you to decide whose sins are just too much to be forgiven. All I ask is that you remember how much you have been forgiven....and how unconditionally you have been loved. Imitate me. 

"You're um....God. I'm Bethany."

So I'll help. 


All of this spoken in the tone of a Father who loves me :) This is what happens when I think I've figured it all out.

I have been taught this morning, that sometimes, forgiveness needs to be extended to those whom hurt people you hold dear...not just you. And maybe it's none of your business, and maybe you're not even THAT involved, but your best friends are hurt, and so you're hurting too. But God has loved me unconditionally...and thank HIM it's been unconditional on my own actions. I'm not perfect at extending this to others....I've just started. But I'm learning. And it's GOOD :)

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