Forgiveness

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A friend has been battling in this world of late and needed some encouragement so I though I’d put pen to paper OR fingers to iPad and write about our conversation a little.

The big question was; when do nasty people become nasty and how could she deal with a particular situation? Would you consider a nasty person to be your friend or foe? I’m not going to mince words or pretend life is a fairytale. Because life can be hard sometimes and people can be mean. Yup, this can even be a co-worker, or a Christian person, or a friend, or perhaps one of your well meaning (or not so well meaning) family members. When does hurtful, cruel, gossip and mean-ness become part of who they are? Or is it just an innocent mistake? Sure and of course there are lovely people and are genuine and can make mistakes. I know I sure mess up even when I’m trying not to. But this is more about people who actually do mean to be, well mean, and gossip, be cruel and plain nasty. People can be mean and horrid with out words too, with an action or lack of action or even a simple look. A look can talk far more than words sometimes. When does that one lie or twisting of the truth become so entrenched into someone’s daily life and speech that their words are all but lies? And then there seems to be no truth left in them where they seem to live unfulfilled and barren lives. My friend is trying to navigate through a difficult time and wanted some advice, help and a sounding board.

I have often joked and said “I’m not the nasty people whisperer”. I can’t wish, will or talk someone out of being mean and nasty by some magical whispering. In the end it is none of my business, if people want to be unkind, nasty, jealous, competitive, gossip or lie about me, my family or friends. Really someone else’s opinion isn’t up to me to be concerned about or want to change. Sure it would be great if everyone was kind to one another. But we live in the real world where some people just want to be nasty no matter what you do or don’t do. They may choose to be your enemy or perhaps behave like the are in battle with you, but you don’t need to join in. All I can do is to give them and their mean spirit, lies, cruelness and nastiness up to God to sort out. I can choose to pray for them to be blessed and guard my heart so I do not let bitterness take away any joy and love God has given me. I am still surprised that people who don’t even know two sides of a situation can adopt a mean spirit toward you, your friend or family because of what someone else has told them half a story. This has happened to me over the years especially as a Pastorswife where you are suppose to be perfect and live up to everyones expectations. Really can anyone person meet someone else’s expectations all of the time? I don’t think so. And it probably wouldn’t be healthy if you could. Has this ever happened to you?

I tried to encourage my friend to genuinely feel compassion for them and I feel so sorry for them. Especially when you see that their lives are messed up and that they are unhappy. Some people do want to cause hurt or pain because that is all they know. If that is all they know then how are they going to change without someone like you or I showing some kindness. Haven’t all of us been messed up one time or another in our lives? When I was in my teens and twenty’s I was a complete mess! Even with the best intentions we too, can upset or hurt to others sometimes without even knowing. Remember if there is someone who is unkind, cruel, nasty or plain mean to you, that they are hurt people, going around wounding and hurting those around them. Sadly it does seem misery does love company. And do you or I want to become apart of the misery group. No way. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to walk away and leave them to their gossip, assumptions and nastiness. They may or may not know any other way to live. Be thankful and grateful that you do know another way to live and that God has shown you a way to live in the truth of His love. A dose of grace, mercy and love from the Saviour can heal our brokeness so we then in turn can give love, show grace, mercy, kindness and forgive others. In Matthew 6:14 (NIV) says; “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Forgiving benefits us even more than it can benefit or help the person we are forgiving. Isn’t that the way of Jesus? By forgiving we actually receive far more.

Sometimes showing love is keeping the peace and not telling your side of the story. Sometimes it means being quiet and letting people think badly of you when you have done nothing wrong and walk away. Sometimes it is having a direct, awkward and uncomfortable conversation to sort the problem out. And sometimes all you can do is pray and give it all to God. What helped my friend and also what has helped me over the years is realising that satan is the originator of sin and father of lies. And sure some people like to give him a helping hand but often times they get dragged into places they never intended to go. It helps to see the person who is causing the issue as being misused by Satan and if you need to blame someone then go ahead and put the blame on Satan who loves to cause trouble. The important thing is the One person who needs to know the truth, does. God knows you and He knows your heart. God knows the truth of your life. God loves, loves, LOVES you and He has your back. No one is prefect, and we all can live wonderful, happy, joyous, for-filling, and blessed lives with a clear conscience even while dealing with difficult circumstances or people. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:4-5 “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” Stay strong through these trials in this world and look forward to receiving praise from God in heaven. Remember God loves, loves, LOVES you!!!

With love & blessings always
~ Sarah xxx

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