When I was in 17, a group of guys started a rumor that I was gay. There were three of them so as big as my ego was, a fight didn’t sound like it would go in my favor. I also knew defending myself would draw attention to it and people would start to believe it. I felt at a total loss, and like no matter what I did I lost. This consumed me for weeks. Then one day at my student ministry I prayed and asked God to SMITE THEM. Then I asked God what I should do about it… God never asks easy and this was no exception. He told me to forgive them.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
FORGIVE THEM…. NO WAY! GOD DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ME! They are NOT asking for forgiveness and they are still slandering me. In my heart, the real issue was I wanted them to pay for what they did for me. I thought that payment should look a certain way. Break their teeth, shatter the windows of their cars, have someone lie about them. As I started to fantasize about all the things that should happen to these bad people. God spoke to me again. Pray blessing over them out loud.
Through tears of anger and pain, I prayed the Lord would bless them and asked Him to help me forgive them. After the prayer, I pictured those three guys and I said out loud, “I forgive you.” I learned a powerful less about forgiveness.
- Forgiveness does not mean what they did was ok
- Speaking blessing and forgiveness took the grip of the pain away
- Forgiveness makes us more like Jesus
So who is your enemy? Who has wounded you and even when your think about them, anger and pain fills your heart? Unforgiveness will rob you of your joy and kill the work of God in you! So right now ask God who you need to forgive. Ask God to give you strength to forgive them, and then speak a blessing over them. DO IT OUT LOUD! not in your head. Then picture that person and say OUT LOUD, I forgive you.
I would like to tell you that they stopped spreading the lie after that, but they didn’t. By God’s power I was able to really forgive them and be kind to them. They hated me even more because if it, but the power of their lie was removed in my heart because I obeyed the Lord. So obey the Lord now and let Him heal your heart.
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus