Sunday, March 13, 2011

Forgiveness

"To forgive is to set someone free, and then find out...it's you."
 ~Ron Bell

Life has had its usual drama around here.  As usual, youngest daughter is at the center of it.  My husband and I spent a week in Arizona with my in-laws, and came home to find evidence of a drinking party.  Now, due to her liver issues, she isn't supposed to drink in the first place.  And it was totally against our house rules..This is just another thing in a long list of stupid decisions she's made, which run completely against our values and how she was raised.  A lot of it has been because of the so-called "friends" that she's chosen to hang around with.  We've spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to remove her from that group of friends.  He's answered many of those prayers, and the majority of those people are out of her life now. We're still praying.  It's been very hard on her, and led to a lot of heartache, but I hope that someday she realizes that it's for the best.

However, it doesn't change some of the decisions she's made.  And it has me thinking a lot about forgiveness.

My daughter has done many things that have not only hurt her, but us as well.  I've seen her dad struggle with the issue of forgiveness.  There have been so many times that we have wanted to trust her and give her the benefit of the doubt, yet she throws that trust back in our faces and lies. (Fortunately for us, she's really bad at lying and gets caught.)  I know that part of it may be due to her medical condition and/or medications, but sometimes I'd swear that she doesn't have the common sense that God gave a goose!

How many times do I have to forgive?

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”   Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times."  (Matthew 18:21-22)

Peter probably thought that forgiving seven times was very generous and spiritual.  And 490 times must have seemed like a huge number back then. So what happens when we hit 491?  "Sorry, you've exceeded the Biblical limit, so I don't have to forgive anymore."  No...we keep forgiving.

I once heard a pastor say that unforgiveness hurts us much more than it hurts the person who wronged us.  I believe that to be true.  I know that in the past, I've let it eat me up inside.  Even if my daughter never comes to us for forgiveness, I have forgiven her.  I need to do it for my own sake.



The following lyrics are from the song "Seven times Seventy" by Chris August.  Although it's written from the child's viewpoint, it speaks to me.


I’ve been living in this house here
Since the day that I was born
These walls have seen me happy
But most of all they’ve seen me torn
They’ve heard the screaming matches
That made a family fall apart
They’ve had a front row seat
To the breaking of my heart

7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around

I remember running down the hallway
Playing hide-and-seek
I didn’t know that I was searching
For someone to notice me
I felt alone and undiscovered
And old enough to understand
Just when I’m supposed to be learning to love
you let me doubt again

7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around

I lost count of the ways you let me down
But no matter how many times you weren’t around
I’m all right now
God picked up my heart and helped me through
And shined a light on the one thing left to do
And that’s forgive you
I forgive you

7 times 70 times
If that’s the cost I’ll pay the price
7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way

7 times 70 times
There’s healing in this house tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around
I’m gonna wrap it all around

I’ve been living in this house here
Since the day that I was born

Words & Music by:
Chris August
Ed Cash



P.S.~  Please pray for my friend Terri.  She's been in the hospital for the past 11 days with influenza and bacterial pnemonia.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

Yes, Forgiveness is a powerful thing. I have had some serious hurts and disappointments too from close loved ones. And the Lord is helping me to forgive, teaching me that it is a choice not a feeling.
Praying for your daughter that her eyes will be opened to how much God, you and her husband loves her.