I saw something that broke my heart the other day. It was the rebirth of a grudge that should’ve been long dead. All because a particular person came back to volunteer after being gone for a year and a half.
Just their presence caused a few to get up and leave the church service. I haven’t been that disappointed in people in a long time.
It’s a revealer of a heart problem they have. An unforgiving heart.
The thing is, it didn’t stop the service. The seats they left were quickly filled by people who didn’t care who the volunteer was. They just wanted to spend time with God and His people, to be nourished.
They missed out.
Look, you are going to get hurt in the church. You will be offended. Churches are hospitals for broken sinners in need of saving. How we handle it depends on us and shows our maturity level.
You have to forgive them. Not for their sake, but yours.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
If you don’t, that’ll put a divide between you and God.
Awhile back, I couldn’t feel God. We had a prayer night at church, and I went up front to be prayed for.
Mrs. Kathy said something interesting in that prayer. That God brings to mind anyone I need to forgive.
He answered that prayer a couple of minutes later. He gave me a list of people I needed to forgive. I sat in the front row and spent the rest of the night forgiving and praying.
I also walked out of there feeling God again.
Forgive and Let God Deal With Them
Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the sin or hurt. It doesn’t mean you return to the relationship with someone who harmed you.
It’s refusing to get even.
God will handle them.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21
What Should I Do
Churches are full of imperfect people. What should we do when we get offended?
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
“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 in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” 2 Timothy 2:24
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3
I’m really good at holding grudges. I had to work with someone I wasn’t fond of, but I did because we were on the same team with the same mission.
I overlooked past offenses and grew to respect them and their passion. I listened when they spoke in areas I’m weak.
Because they were right.
I would never have grown if I held my grudge and refused to listen.
Don’t let unforgiveness get in the way of you and God. You’re hurting yourself and risking your soul.