When I was a young buck, my friends and I decided to head down to my "clubhouse" which was an abandoned old family home. Somewhere in there we decided to hop in the truck with some friends and go riding dirt roads. When I say hop, I don't mean in the extended cab buckled in my seatbelt, I really mean hop, like in the bed of the truck sitting on a greasy tire and ol leaky cans rolling around.
Mind you, I was 14 and couldn't even date much less be out past 10 p.m. in the bed of a truck.
My brother comes in and mama ask him to ease on down to the clubhouse and check on us. Since I didn't let him know I would be out joyriding with my hair in the wind and he should cover for me, he tells mama we aren't there.
Now, I'm a mama and I just can't imagine what I would've done, I'm sure I would've cut a switch and whooped my friends and I like we were 9, but she didn't.
The next day, she took all of my friends home, told their parents what happened and on the way home she gave me my punishment. She said I would be grounded for what felt like the rest of my life. But, what she said that I'll never forget was this: "You lost my trust." Y'all that rocked me, I never wanted her to lose trust in me. I worked hard over those 3 months to earn her trust and somewhere along the way, I did.
She forgave me.
That sentence stands alone because it's the most important part of the story and the longest life lesson and one of the hardest for me to experience.
Now that I'm grown folks I run into situations and obstacles all the time that call for forgiveness, me to forgive someone or someone to forgive me.
The word in Greek is aphiemi, meaning to send away. Refusing to carry something instead choosing to send it away. When we struggle to forgive it affects everything, mostly our hearts.
Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone else free and realizing that we were the prisoner.
God speaks on forgiveness many times in the Bible, I love this one, the scripture plainly commands it.
Ephesians 4:32 "Instead, be kind and tenderhearted to one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ."
If God can forgive the sinful life I've lead and the times I've let Him down, then I can do the same for others.
Now, when we are talking about an unkind word someone has said, a white lie, or smaller offenses it can be relatively easy to forgive but those are not always the case.
We may stumble upon more serious cases such as unfaithfulness, drunk driving taking our loved one away, or someone hurting our children, those are doozies.
Is it possible to forgive these?
Yes, Jesus Christ can help us to forgive the smallest and largest sins. He can help us to see our offender through His eyes.
We don't have the right to not forgive, we owe it to them, our own heart, and more importantly we owe it to The Lord to seek him deeper and forgive what is burdening our hearts.
If you are having a hard time today trusting, forgiving someone, forgiving yourself, or moving on let me show you where to turn.
Those are a few that I lean on, earmark them in your Bible and seek His word, council, and strength.
All can be forgiven.
Mama forgave me and eventually trusted me again, I had many years left to mess up but I always tried to maintain her trust.
Life is hard but as always we have someone who is so mighty that we can turn to.
Forgiveness equals freedom, what do you need to let go of today?
Have Zest and Forgive as He does.