Whooooo! What a long couple of weeks. I’ve got some confessing to do y’all! I was so ready to write this next post long ago, but then I realized I couldn’t without being partly unauthentic. Let me explain…
So there have been some recent developments in my life. Much of which required an IMMENSE amount of effort on my part to forgive. I found myself reading the last two Forgiveness Friday posts to try and get my mind right. No shame…but I couldn’t bring myself to move forward because I was stuck. This forgiveness thing is not easy. And when you’re holding on to hopes, fears and control it becomes even more difficult. So know that this journey of forgiveness is as much mine as it is yours! For me I was dealing with anger. A whollle lot of it. In the end I realized that the anger had/has more to do with me than with anyone I feel has wronged me.
After you’ve identified the issue you need to move past. It’s time to do the WORK. It might be more prayer for direction on how to move forward. More conversations, click here for guidance on what that should look like. It could also mean that you’ve just got to remove yourself from the company of those toxic people and relationships. MY work started with dealing with the intense anger I had. Let me tell you, my jolly attitude, my optimistic outlook, alllll a’dat was GON’! I was snappy at work, pessimistic – my outlook on the world was not as it had been. I had never been so angry in my life.
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” – Ephesians 4:26
So I started several Bible Reading Plans using the Bible App: Anger (under Topical), Working Through Anger, etc. Personally I get angry when people let me down. But really it’s a personal problem of how much credit I give people . Sometimes we shouldn’t put expectations on people, especially people who have shown us who they are time and time again. “Fool me once, fool me twice” is the perfect way to think about this. Nonetheless I was angry….whether I was justified in my anger, or whether it was completely all me, I was ANGRY! My pastor (yes, that’s right. I joined a church-YEEE) Dharius Daniels preached about revenge, and anger on Sunday. He made great points and insights about how to MANAGE relationships. Not everyone should have the same access to our lives….we have to manage our relationships based on who they are. We’ll get more into managing relationships later, so for now let’s focus on identifying what we can do to begin the work.
“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 Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
So how do you know that you’re ready to get to work? Once you’ve prepared your heart and had some conversations, you can identify the areas in which you need to actively monitor. Yep, monitor. I’m currently reading “Love As a Way of Life” by Gary Chapman (uh huh, even while harboring ALL of this anger-work in progress, I am!) and he encourages active behavior monitoring to improve and WORK on ourselves. Grab a journal, compose a new note on your phone or start reflecting daily on how you are working towards forgiveness. When we pass up opportunities to avenge the wrong we feel has been done to us, we’re on our way to forgiveness. When we show genuine acts of kindness to those we feel have wronged us, we’re on our way to forgiveness. When we pray for our enemies and others we think have wronged us, we’re on our way to forgiveness.
So write it down!
Think about how many times you’ve made progress on forgiving and moving on. Have you successfully ended that toxic relationship? SCORE! Write it down and take account of every time you felt like you needed to call, text or email that person, but didn’t, knowing that the relationship would not serve you. Write about the time you stopped yourself and repented for judging someone who you feel wronged you, robbed you or hurt you. All of these are small victories and all of this is the WORK we need to do. Does the work ever end? Not really. We will always have to check ourselves and self-correct because we were born with egos. But the more we do it the easier it becomes and more fulfilling and peaceful our lives will be.
Right now….write down the last 3 things you’ve done to help move your life forward and away from unforgiveness.
Time to get to work! I’m so excited to explore the ways in which we can manage our relationships. It’s a great lesson from the ultimate teacher, JESUS! So stay tuned for Friday’s post! As always I hope this message left you blessed. Please let me know your thoughts below in the comment section and ASK ME ANYTHING below or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you and answer your questions in next week’s post!
I love you so much and so does Jesus!
Peace & Blessings,