I wrote this several years ago ... be sure to read to the end for an update!!
Two years I began an intentional mission to clean the slate.
The Lord has given me a clear vision of the assignment, I knew first, I must pursue a pure heart and clean hands.
He warned me:
Your character must be greater than your anointing.
I spent many hours in prayer, repenting…asking the Lord to clean my heart of any impure thoughts.
He highlighted one area specifically: Relationships.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
I asked Him to show me any places I was not loving my brothers and sisters they way He has shown us to love them.
He showed me areas where I had wrong thinking towards others, because of pre-judgment based on my own insecurities, or because the chatter of others had muddied the clear water, hindering me from seeing the true heart of the person they were speaking about. Gossip, slander and pride were rampant.
I repented. He showed me mercy.
Then I asked Him to show me anyplace I had hurt someone with my actions or worse…with my words.
He showed me things I had said and done that had wounded those closest to me. I was not proud.
I repented. He showed me grace.
Then I asked Him to show me anyone I still harbored unforgiveness towards for actions or words spoken over me.
I repented. He forgave me.
I became passionate to clean the slate, not just in Heaven...but here on earth as well.
I knew what to do and how to do it.
Do the Word.
I needed to follow through on Matthew 18
Work It Out Between You
12-14 “Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.
15-17 “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.
18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
I invited people to have coffee. One by one I met with them.
The first ones were the hardest…it never got easier. Humbling yourself to the place of apologizing to people you have hurt is never easy, but it was always worth it.
I am thankful for those who have been gracious and understanding, mostly though… I am thankful for their forgiveness.
Friendships have been restored and that is a breath of fresh air to my heart & soul!
The decision to clean the slate has not been easy, but I know it was the right thing to do because I see the beauty that has risen from the ashes of broken relationships into authentic friendships that are stronger and more open.
Dealing with conflict is never easy, and I have learned it is far better to deal with it right up front instead of letting it go. Time only allows for our minds to wander into the darkness of wrong thinking and misconception. That is a pit!
Confronting someone who has hurt you, emotionally physically or spiritually is actually a healthy way to save the relationship. The sooner, the better. Allowing the wound to fester only allows unforgiveness to grow into bitterness, which establishes itself like a root into the deepest parts of who we are. It steals your identity.
Just as I think I have gotten to the bottom of the list, the Lord hands me another…there is work to be done.
I am not perfect, but I am determined to Speak Life & Live!
I challenge anyone who has actually read this all the way through to consider this your Call for Peace.
Lay down your right to be right, put aside your honor and pride and pick up the banner of humility and forgive one another. We have work to do and we need each other more than ever!
Call your friends, the ones who hurt you…the ones you hurt.
Be bold. Be courageous. Be honest. Apologize. Repent. Ask for forgiveness.
Since posting this the Lord has brought it full circle.
For the past two years, there has been a steady line of individuals contacting me -- to apologize and ask forgiveness for their own thought, opinion or judgement of my behavior or actions. It's quite incredible and humbling.
I am intentional to seek to understand how the misunderstanding happened, I want to get to the root of the issue, so that it can't rear its ugly head again! Acknowledging my part in it and in turn asking for forgiveness as well has brought healing and built a new foundation to many relationships.
There is till work to be done.
We are human.
We will annoy, offend and hurt one another.
Our assignment is to walk humbly, loving and forgiving.
Who do you need to grab coffee with and have that chat?