I watched an incident some time ago that fascinated me about the wills of humans. I was ministering in a service and the Lord began to move in the hearts of the people there. It was really warming to my very bones to know that the love of Jesus can truly transform the hearts and minds of even the vilest of persons. It’s powerful. Real powerful!
Just before the service ended, a lady walked up to me filled with tears and they were streaming down her face. She said “Pastor, you know a lady in here and I are not talking. We are in malice but I really want to put it right with her today. I do not want us to leave this service still in malice. Can I call her over here and you pray with us and help us to set everything straight? I smiled and said “sure”. Both persons were already at the altar since they had responded to the invitation for prayer that I had given.
She walked over to the other lady, touched her and whispered something in her ear. The lady shrugged her hands off her shoulder and reluctantly walked over with her towards me. I didn’t inquire what the issue was that had caused them to be in the malice in the first place but I asked them both if they feel they were able to put behind them whatever it was and move on from there. The first lady crying so much that she could hardly stand, responded “yes pastor”. The other lady did not respond. So I asked her personally, she muttered under her breath but I did not hear her reply. I asked again. This time she gave a distressed, apathetic, indifferent “uh hmmm”. I realized that she was lying but I had other people to minister to so I didn’t spend much time on her. I began to pray. I held both their hands and prayed that God’s love would bind them together, enact total forgiveness and so on.
She looked so uncomfortable. It was amazing to see such display right before my eyes. I should interject to say they were both Christians. [smile – SMH] Anyway, the Lord opened up her heart to me and I began to discern her thoughts. She was insistent that she would not forgive this lady no matter what she or I did or said. I felt so sad for her. She had allowed the root of bitterness to take a whole of her and it gripped her so tight that the pain of the incident totally took precedence over her need to forgive and be free. She thought to herself that the lady did not deserve her forgiveness after all that she did to her. I looked at her and said “You really need to forgive her for the wrongs she did to you. It’s not worth it to keep killing yourself with hatred and unforgiveness”. She half-heartedly looked at me as if to say “You can talk all you want. You know nothing. I am the one who is hurting”. She held down her head then walked off. She went back to the place she was standing at the altar while I ministered to the other persons.
When I was finished, I walked through the back rostrum entrance to go to the pastor’s office. It so happened as I was crossing the passage I saw her talking to someone. Her remarks were: “She can go on with her long eye water and tears. If the pastor did really know what she did to me, she would’ve NEVER asked me to forgive her. She can fool the pastor with her “everlasting cow-bawling” [Jamaican patios for many tears]. She cannot fool me and me NOT forgiving her!” She hissed her teeth and walked off. She didn’t see me but I saw and heard her.
I smiled and thought what a hard hearted woman who is supposed to be a child of God. Imagine if Jesus was to say that about us. Look at how many times even in one day that we hurt and cause him much pain. Our language, actions, thoughts, behavior, attitude…. A mean the list is endless. He loves us so much that He forgives us immediately, as soon as we ask. Why wouldn’t we even try to do the same? I know some hurts are painful; a mean just awful. It may even take a while but I know if forgiving is truly what you want to do then Jesus will give you the enabling power to do so. HE TRULY WILL.
I speak from personal experience that after you forgive someone, you’ll find out that he person who needed freedom wasn’t them at all but you. Oh boy, do I know that well. Have you ever noticed that when you “don’t like a person” you never stop seeing them? Seriously, everywhere you go they are there. Geez! So all it does is get your blood boiling and the painful memories keep reliving like a wretched horror movie on auto play. Good Lord! I once heard Joyce Meyer say “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies”. I have realized that statement is as true as truth gets. Just forgive. Its hard but rewarding if you want peace of mind, stability and a stress free life. So tell me, when was the last time you had poison for breakfast, lunch or dinner?