God and His Word tells us to forgive people who hurt us. Last night, I wrestled with that.
Despite having forgiven people who have hurt me in the past, like a rerun of a bad movie, the pain and shock of their betrayal replayed itself loudly in my heart.
I felt the flush of anger returning. I did NOT want to forgive them – again. But that night, I had to choose: obey God and forgive them one more time, or obey Satan and give into that destructive rage. I struggled between rehearsing the painful event and recalling Bible verses about forgiveness. Thankfully, after an hour or so, God won!
I stayed awake a little longer joyously thanking God for loving me enough to give me the grace (and the will) to obey His Word and then slept like a person in a My Pillow commercial.
However, even in my relief, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d be fighting the same battle again or another one equally as exhausting. Would I have the desire and the strength to overcome next time? Or would I allow my emotions and will to dictate otherwise?
Often when we’re tempted by sinful thinking or behavior, we forget about one of the worst consequences we experience after we give into that sin – shame.
Even emotional sins like hate and unforgiveness destroy pieces of our character. When we don’t forgive, we behave and speak in ways we’re not proud of. The shame that pours over us chips away at who we are and who we want to become.
Perhaps praying Psalm 25:2 (ESV) every morning (and as often as necessary) will help:
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
God is glorified when we allow His Spirit to help us walk obediently before Him. In contrast, the devil loves to hold our sins over us and celebrate our path to destruction. He tries to convince us that we can’t triumph over hate, envy, addictions or any immoral feeling, thought or behavior. But Satan is a liar! God’s power eclipses Satan’s. Every. Single. Time.
We get to decide: Is our sin worth the shame it brings? Whose ways will we follow?
What about you?
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- Is your sin worth the shame it brings?
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