January 18, 2014

“…You wicked servant!  I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”  Matthew 18:32-33

“Awww…crap on a cracker!”

My Coffee Mug 002That was what I thought as I began to read the new testament portion of my Bible reading plan this morning.  I am fully aware of the absence of the “Christ-like” nature in my response but I immediately realized that I was about to be divinely called out.  My response was that of a third grader whose parent just confronted them of their blatant disobedience.

Allow me to digress and explain my activities of the last week that I have allowed to fester into unforgiveness and hate.  It has been an attitude that I have been fighting and confessing all week but last night, actually early this morning, I allowed my mind to relish in the deep resent of being wronged.  Therefore, I was not surprised this morning to discover that my heavenly Father had orchestrated His Word perfectly to address the wickedness of my heart.

My company is going to be sued.  The process of being sued is not some abstractions when you own part of a small business that has been targeted.  It is personal.  It is even more personal when the chief antagonists are people who you once considered friends.  I wrote about this in “But I Don’t Wanna Be Slapped”.  That blog was written over a year ago and the saga is still on-going.

Mediation has finally been scheduled and documents provided with the assertions of our wrong doing.  My week has been spent reviewing those documents and writing responses.  The deeper I dig the more incredulous I have become at the sear lack of integrity, at least from my perspective, which my antagonists are abiding within.  I have been praying for them by name every night this week.  I have been asking God to bless them in obedience to Jesus’ command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 6:44).

The façade of a struggling heart was stripped away in the early morning hours when my brain awoke to thoughts of the case.  My mind drifted from facts to faces; faces that were once welcome in my home but now are enemies of my home.  Yes, they are my enemies for which I was shocked at the disdain that welled up for them.  I was even more shocked at the personal hate that I felt for their attorney and expert witness.

Worse than those thoughts was the fact that I drank them in.

Therefore, I was not surprise by the scripture that was awaiting me with my morning cup of coffee.  I knew what was coming.  My wicked heart had been clearly revealed.  My Lord cut me to the core.  He crushed any and all pretense and justification that I had created in my pre-dawn ranting.  He showed me how easily I have accepted His mercy, which was more costly than any mercy that I am being commanded to show.  I was confronted with my hypocrisy.

i am real estate photographer / Foter.com / CC BY

I realized that God in His continuing mercy toward me was showing me that I was forgiving from my mouth but not from my heart.

And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. (Matt. 18:34-35)

I know that this lawsuit may go on for a few more years and I don’t know how many times I am going to be coming back to this very same wicked place.  How can I forgive when the process does not allow for reconciliation or resolution? I am reminded of Jesus’ response to the question of who then can be saved.

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matt. 19:26)

Therefore, I walk the path of a disciplined servant – I repented of my sinfulness, I thanked my Savior for His grace and mercy in forgiving my debt, which was much greater, and I asked Him for the strength to follow Him with all of my heart because I can’t do it myself.

Forgiveness is not an elective in the curriculum of servant-hood. It is a required course, and the exams are always tough to pass. ~Charles Swindoll

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for not allowing me to wallow in my sin.  Thank you for confronting the wickedness and disobedience of my heart.   Thank you for being a lovely Father to me.  Help me in my unbelief.  Help me to be so enamoured by the grace and mercy that you have shown me that will will naturally flow out and onto my enemies.  Lord, be with them.  Show them the same love that you have shown me.  Draw them to yourself.  Enable me to forgive them not only with my mouth but with my heart.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. […]  But I Don’t Wanna to be Slapped Dealing with Troubles A Prayerful Run Struggle to Forgive – Again […]

  2. My heart goes out to you. It can be so hard. We just have to take it one day at a time confessing it to the Lord and asking for His help each time we catch ourselves having those unkind unforgiving thoughts, and trusting that the Lord will in time heal the hurt.


  3. I add myself to probably a loooooong list of people who can repentantly say…I NEED this today!!! Thank you…and thank you Father. God help me! 😦

  4. Good encouragement for me today. Thanks for your transparency. I found myself with the opportunity to extend forgiveness today to someone whom God had very obviously forgiven and restored before I was even aware I had been wronged and how deeply. How could I not forgive when God already had? It was interesting to ponder. I pray you find resolution and reconciliation. The latter will be harder than the former, and probably impossible apart from God.

  5. […] “STRUGGLE TO FORGIVE – AGAIN” – Jan 18. […]

  6. JD,

    Great post, we all have……. those…….. people in our lives. And in the midst of continued wrong doing, how can you forgive as required?

    “I am reminded of Jesus’ response to the question of who then can be saved.

    With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matt. 19:26)”

    Apart from loving them from…. “A FAR”, the best thing we can do is pray for them, it is also the most loving thing we can do.

    Doing that is remarkable even, and causes God to receive glory.

    I think the truth behind Christ’s statement is that ultimately we are incapable of perfect love and perfect forgiveness, which is why we need Him!

  7. To the world forgiveness makes very little sense. Why would anyone give up his rights rather than fight for them? Lawyers, I confess, are particularly susceptible to this outraged view. Fighting for justice is our job and our inclination. But God may take a larger view. Not that He is unjust, of course. Only that He can see what we cannot. It’s the Job situation. Christians are on the frontline of the battle between good and evil. That means we will be attacked. Whenever that happens, our actions are on display, if nothing else to the people attacking us. Forgiveness flies in the face of human nature. It, also, takes a great deal of faith. That’s a big part of the reason it has the power to change hearts and lives.

  8. Reblogged this on mikky07ng's Blog.

  9. OH JD….just read your blog after many months of not reading and how pointed this is for today. Prayers for you and all of us whose radio minds replay angry words and revenging plans.

    • Hey Jan – Sorry to hear about your publisher. I hope that all works out. Thanks for the prayers.
      God Bless!

  10. I can relate having gone through something similar the last couple of years. Several of my posts speak to this issue and I too have not handled it perfectly…. that is I have not handled it completely in His ability! Nevertheless, I press on decreasing so that He might increase. He has passed the test and I am pursuing His victory in this one.


    • Amen Hal; thanks for you comments and the link to your blog. I look forward to digging into your posts.
      God Bless!

  11. JD, I’d like to recommend a book to you called “The Tale of Three Kings.” It offered a great deal of insight for me when I was dealing with a lot of pain from an injustice. It’s about the kings Saul, David, and Absalom. I think it will be a blessing to you. All the best – Joe

    • Joe – thanks for the book recommendation. Is it this book http://www.amazon.com/Tale-three-Kings-Study-Brokenness/dp/0842369082 ?
      Thanks again

      • That is the right book. Sorry, I should have posted the link but wasn’t sure if you’d like that or not. At any rate, it was a life changing book and I hope that you will be able to benefit from it as well!


  12. ouch! The way The Lord calls us out on our own hypocracy, the sharpness of His swod..it cuts deep, yet it’s all for Love. I really enjoyed your blog. This spoke to me. I’m sorry for the troubles, watching how The Lord molds you more and more He the Potter and you the clay..it doesn’t feel cool but it really is.

    • You are correct that it doesn’t feel cool when it is cool when God is working in our lives exposing sin that is buried deep. Thanks for the encouragement.
      God Bless!

  13. I love your transparency here, JD. I wallowed in unforgiveness over a matter I encountered over the holidays. Forgiveness is hard; wallowing is easier. Yet it is what God demonstrated to us, by forgiving when we were undeserving. Remembering that is always the key to choosing instead to forgive. Blessings during this struggle. Will pray for God to give you supernatural strength to endure and even shine His love.

    • Hey Sue – thanks for the prayers. Sorry to hear that you encountered something similar of the holidays. You would think that forgiveness wouldn’t be so hard. It is so easy to take our eyes off of what God has done for us.
      God Bless!

  14. *sigh* why do we always have to do another lap around the wilderness? But, it seems we have to from time to time. Well written from the heart JD. Blessings as you walk this valley road, you are not alone although it may seem that the stranger who is beside you is not listening and only telling you about himself in scriptures but it is because your eyes are “blind” to who he is…but if you sit down and share a meal, he will bless the bread and open your eyes.
    Walk lightly and carry God’s word with you when these “deadly d’s” come creeping back into your world. They are just the enemy’s words that have no merit or worth…He may be the prince of the air but he is weak and vulnerable when the Word comes through you. Send him packing.

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