I didn’t want to forgive a family member, because they mishandled the family estate. We didn’t receive our rightful inheritance. I was very offended and angry about this. What they did was wrong, and they didn’t deserve forgiveness. I became bitter – my spirit and soul became a toxic place.
God patiently and gently brought me along by reminding me of His Word and of the times in my past when I had also struggled with unforgiveness. I remembered how useless it had been to hold unforgiveness and how miserable it made me.
Over a year’s time, God highlighted many scriptures about forgiveness to me. These scriptures usually just came to mind during the course of my daily life. There were three particular truths that stood out, which I thought about, ruminated on and processed often with God. (1) The Lord’s Prayer and (2) The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant both speak of forgiving others and extending mercy as God does. They also say that if we don’t forgive, God may not forgive us. (3) The Cross: Jesus was stricken, smitten and afflicted and nailed on a cross to die, out of love for us. If anyone had a right to be offended at what was done to them, it would be Jesus! The offense that I received was nothing compared to what Jesus suffered. Listen to what He says as he’s dying. “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”. As a sinner, I cannot look at that scene and hold unforgiveness against my family member.
So finally, by the Grace of God, I was able to forgive that person, out loud, to God. I felt pretty good about it.
Soon afterwards, while showering one morning, words came clearly into my mind, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I had no doubt Who was speaking to me, and about whom He was speaking. My Heavenly Father knew I wasn’t quite over this issue yet, and there was more for me to do.
It wasn’t easy at first and I needed lots of help from God, but I began to pray a blessing over my family member. Guess what?! My heart began to soften toward that person, and the residual anger and bitterness began to “melt away”.
I am so glad and thankful that this issue is out of my hands. I don’t need to be the judge anymore. It has been released into God’s capable hands, and I feel at peace. I sense God’s pleasure in me that I have let go of the issue. He’s pleased that I am free.
When I think long and hard about this issue, I realize that no earthly inheritance could ever compare to my True Inheritance which is in heaven! Glory be to God!