It’s Father’s day and I am who I am because of my Father’s faithfulness and my Father’s faults.
I am who I am because of my Mother’s faithfulness and my Mother’s faults.
I am who I am because of my husband’s faithfulness and my husband’s faults.
I am who I am because of the faithfulness of family and friends and the faults of family and friends.
I am who I am because of my Heavenly Father’s faithfulness … and because of my faults.
What was your immediate thought as you read the above? Did you hear blame? I hear opportunity.
What opportunity might that be … glad you asked 🙂
How I respond to the faithfulness and faults of those around me is my choice. That’s my opportunity.
If I choose not to open my heart to receive the gift of faithfulness from those around me because I dare not risk being hurt …. my choice has robbed me of experiencing that joy and being blessed by that gift. My choice has made me an isolated, lonely person that is trying to do their best to keep their heart safe by their own soul’s power.
So now the question arises, but what about those faults I mentioned above? If I open my heart to receive “the good stuff” might I not also end up being hurt by the faults and woundedness of those around me? No doubt about it, you will.
Aha … another opportunity to choose. Choose what? Choose forgiveness.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what someone has done to you isn’t wrong. It just means you are making the choice disconnect from the pipeline of poison that flows through our lives when we hold on to unforgiveness and bitterness.
Because bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping that it will kill the person sitting next to you. Thank you Dr. Mario Rivera for teaching me that truth.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the need you have to be loved unconditionally and faithfully by whomever is not valid. But, for whatever reason the individual who has hurt you cannot or will not do that. So rather than tying yourself to them through the connection of holding them hostage to your unforgiveness, you can set yourself free by forgiving them and taking them off the hook to meet your valid need; and, by taking your very valid need and giving it to your Heavenly Father to be met in ways you are not even able to imagine.
You know the scripture that tells us that our Heavenly Father will forgive us as we forgive others – I finally get it. For a long time I thought, well that’s pretty mean … He obviously doesn’t truly understand how this person/people group has hurt me. Why do I have to go first, God’s bigger than me why can’t He go first (just being transparent here).
It’s because until we choose to disconnect from that pipeline of poison it still has legal access to our lives to wreak havoc. It’s like leaving the valve wide open. Our Heavenly Father can’t close the matter out until we make that choice to forgive and disconnect from the toxic flow.
And because there is always more than one facet to every situation, what I have discovered for myself to be as important as forgiving others is to pray forgive me Heavenly Father for any part I played in this through my own faults and woundedness. Forgive me where I’ve chosen [fill in the blank here with isolation, control, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, judgment, understanding, revenge … it’s an extensive list but you get the idea] rather than You to protect my heart. I forgive myself for making that choice, I let myself off the hook, because Jesus was right … I did not know what I was doing.
After that prayer, your pipeline is connected to the source of life, so ask Him …. what would you give me Heavenly Father in exchange for (with whatever filled your blank above) and receive His gift for you. I have prayed this many times in my life for myself and with other people and the gifts He has always thrill my heart.
For that part of your heart that is still not too sure about this …. Jesus gets it, you know. He made himself vulnerable to his disciples. He opened his heart to them and poured out who He was day after day after day and yet we read “have I been so long with you and still you do not know who I am” (John 14:9)? I don’t mean to minimize in any way how Jesus suffered for us on the cross, but by making His heart vulnerable to his parents, family and those around him he also suffered day-to-day just like we do when the woundedness of those around him, wounded him.
That’s how we are joint heirs in his suffering (Rom 8:17) by allowing our hearts to be vulnerable to the faithfulness and faults of those around us. However, the verse doesn’t stop with suffering, it continues on with a promise:
And if we are [His] children,
then we are [His] heirs also:
heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ
[sharing His inheritance with Him];
only we must share His suffering
if we are to share His glory.
You can’t receive His glory if you have closed off or stuffed away your heart to keep it safe or because you don’t want to hear what your heart might say about the pain it is holding because you have not allowed it a voice. Your Heavenly Father already knows what is in your heart. He wants you to know so that you can be set free by making choices to forgive and choices to receive.
Don’t miss the opportunity to be filled by Him Who, by the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] (Eph 3:20)
Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that’s a w-h-o-l-e lot better than drinking the poison of bitterness and unforgiveness. Just sayin’ 🙂
On this Father’s Day … I am so very thankful for both my Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and my Dad’s faithfulness. I am also thankful for my Dad’s faults and my faults …. and all the opportunities each of those things provide to choose who I am.