I am so happy right now I could burst!!! I just had to blog about this because I cannot keep this to myself. I don’t mind telling of my faults because in the end, the Lord is glorified and so I’m going to type away..
First some background….
I have this friend in California named John. He is Christian brother and we’ve been friends for at least 5 years over the internet. We’re very close; we’ve talked on the phone countless times and he even talks to my parents, my brother, and friends. Even though we are close, we have this love/hate relationship. We argue over doctrine constantly, we fight, stop speaking, then we make up. We also fight because he says something, I read into it and take it apart with surgical precision, and get mad at him. We eventually make up and all is well and back on the roller coaster we go.
Well yesterday was one of those days. While I didn’t fly off the handle, I held ill feelings in my heart (which is still sinful). He was more verbal than I was which fueled me even more. I was struggling with my emotions…I was furious, then I’d pray and calm down, then I’d think again and get mad all over again, pray again, get mad again etc. – it was a vicious cycle! But I didn’t think it necessary to apologize or even speak to him again because after all, I wasn’t as mean as I COULD have been and I did exercise some restraint. So fine, I wrote him off again.
So today while perusing Christian sites, I started thinking about loving our enemies and I thought to myself that I wasn’t even able to do this with my brother in Christ! I thought to myself that it didn’t matter what John said to me, that my reaction was not dependent upon what he or anyone else says. I am to be Christ-like in ALL situations and grow in the knowledge of Him, especially if someone has wronged me. So even though I didn’t go hog wild on him, I was still guilty because of the ill feelings I harbored in my heart. I thought how disappointing we must be to the Lord when two of His children sin. We should be edifying and building each other up, not sinning. We can disagree but not let it get to the point of sinning.
After this realization, and the Lord opening my eyes and softening my heart, the anger was completely gone. Not only that, but I just had to confess these things to John and apologize to him. Here’s an excerpt of what I said at the end rather than trying to recall everything…
If you, (not you in particular but Christians in general) harbor ill feelings towards someone, even if you do not say them, then pray immediately and confess. Nothing in our hearts are hidden from Him and it is still a blemish that needs cleansing. We may not be able to rid ourselves of those ill feelings in our hearts by ourselves and so that’s when we should call upon the Lord. Just because sin hasn’t manifested itself outwardly does not mean we have not sinned internally. And isn’t it wonderful that we have an awesome God who is able to shine the light on the depths of our hearts and cleanse and heal them? 🙂
So the next time we get on each other’s nerves for whatever reason, let us both recognize this for what it is…a spiritual battle. Let us not sink to the depths of sin again. Let us not hold any ill feelings towards each other or anyone else. If one of us slips up and says something bad, then let the other one NOT follow in kind. Let’s BOTH try to rise above our flesh and be like Christ in any and all situations. This is something I’m going to diligently strive for.
So I say before God (and before Satan because he looming about) that I’m sorry that my flesh won out yesterday. I’m sorry that I didn’t think with this kind of clarity yesterday and did not diffuse the situation but added to it. I’m sorry that my heart held ill feelings towards you. I’m sorry for sinning against my Lord. I’m sorry for not loving my brother, you. I’m sorry for not having self control over my tongue and heart. I’m sorry at the disgust God must feel towards two of His children sinning against Him. Let’s pray for keener eyes in which to see Satan’s schemes ok? If we get mad at each other, let’s talk about it and pray immediately. The only thing that should be between you and I is Jesus, not Satan and not our flesh.
So I sent that email and checked my other account. It ain’t over yet…..
I was notified of a reply to my blog and so I checked it and it was from Sidharth.
(Anyone who travels in mine and Sidharth’s circles knows that our exchanges have been less-than-friendly.) Sidharth fought his pride (his words) and apologized to me about the exchange we had yesterday – one that I had FORGOTTEN about!! And BAM, I was convicted again! Back to back! I was reminded that there was another person out there whom I’ve hurt and that I had to apologize to. What’s amazing about this is that I didn’t give Sidharth a second thought after I replied with my snarky and mean remarks so if he hadn’t sent me something, I would not have confessed this to him, confessed to Jesus or apologized! I had completely forgotten about him but the Lord reminded me and convicted me again. I’m convinced that the Lord used Sidharth in taking that first step so I would be convicted, so we would confess, and reconcile. And the timing….If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Lord, it is that His timing is perfect which in itself is miraculous!
So right now I’m so happy because of what the Lord has shown me, because He softened my heart, and humbled me. I’m in awe at His gentleness because He could have blasted me if He wanted to but He didn’t. I truly do rejoice in His correction!!!!