Isn't it ironic how the people you are supposed to love the most are the hardest ones to forgive?
I have had issues lately with forgiveness. Not with friends, not with enemies, but with my family. Well, my dad mostly. For those of you who are not aware, my parents are divorced and have been for about 2 years. But, it still feels like we are right in the middle of it. I'm not going to go into a huge, long story about my family life. There is no need to share that on the internet. But, if you have questions about it, come find me. But, long story short, my dad does not realize what boundaries are. At all. I can't talk on the phone with him right now for five minutes without him making some sort of comment or statement that makes my blood boil. I mean just the other day he was talking to me about child support. To me. His daughter. I don't know, but with all the things blowing up in my family life, I am finding it very, very difficult to forgive him for everything he has done to our family. Granted, I haven't been perfect either. None of us has. But some things just cross the line...a.k.a my dad. I don't think he realizes he is being hurtful. That doesn't matter though. He is just so inconsiderate. :(
Now, my question is this: how do you forgive someone who keeps breaking down your resolve? There's that command in the Bible that says to forgive not 7 times, but 70 x 7. So, let's see... that's 490 times exactly...haha no, just kidding. That really means forgive them as many times as it takes. And, I regret to inform you, I have no idea how to answer this question. I can't answer it for myself and I certainly can't answer it for you. I know it's not true, but sometimes I feel like my dad doesn't care that he has children. He wants instant gratification, something our society teaches everys single one of us. But he just doesn't have time for me. He thinks he is involved and he thinks he is being the ideal dad, but oh no. He has got it all wrong. I mean not that I already have a birth father who I've never met, but my adopted dad is not exactly the picture of fatherhood. Needless to say, I am struggling...hardcore. I don't hold grudges usually, but this one is incredibly hard to forget. Especially since every time I talk to him he opens old wounds and then rubs salt in it. And every time I see him with his girlfriend, it only reminds me of how my family fell apart.
I'm so sorry I'm venting like this. Writing helps me get my thoughts down. Venting is good sometimes though. And I'm certainly not trying to undermine any other family situation. There are some familes out there who are much worse off than mine. As my mom used to say, you don't have a corner of the market on pain. It's true, I really don't. I'm blessed with a wonderful mom and an awesome twin, and my dad is a good guy at heart. It's just so hard to see it. So, what does the Bible say when we struggle with anger and forgiving someone?
"In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent."
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'"
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."
So, those are some Bible verses that talk about forgiveness and staying a righteous person in God's light. Those verses are pretty clear cut. They definitely make me think. I believe I may have to have God's help in this forgiveness though. I need Him to soften my heart and take away my bitterness before I can make progress. That's what prayer is for I suppose. I need all the help I can get. Trust is key here. Anyway, this has been more of an instructional blog post I suppose, but they are still my thoughts. And I think they are worth sharing because I'm sure I'm not the only one who is struggling. I am undoubtedly not in a position to judge others. I've had my fair share of mistakes. And in no way or form should we ever judge another person. That rule though can be very hard to follow. Yet another testimony to my struggles in my faith. I don't like re-using bible verses but I will end with a bible verse I used for my very first post. It seems appropriate here, and I've given myself more than enough to ponder from God's word for now. Have a wonderful rest of your week and weekend! I love you guys. Thanks so much for reading.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."