Thursday, December 13, 2012

live second: release

This is the second of four posts about the new book Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. See my first post here.

Week seven in Live Second is about relationships. The video is of Jeff & Cheryl Scruggs.

I chose to focus on Day 2: Release. The daily Bible reading is Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unforgiving servant.

I don't know about you, but I've been that servant. I know that God has forgiven me, and I know what Ephesians 4:32 says, but it's sometimes hard for me to extend forgiveness to those who've hurt me. This was especially true a few years ago. Someone close to me hurt me more deeply than I'd ever been hurt before. She asked for forgiveness, and I told her I forgave her, but I didn't. Instead, I hung onto the pain and bitterness, and I let it fester inside until I had not only practically severed my relationship with my friend, but I also had pushed so, so far from God. 

Finally, God used a sermon preached by my pastor to get my attention. (I blogged about the sermon here.) I finally truly forgave. I would say that, more than three years later, I'm still reaping the consequences of my bitterness, and I don't know if my friend and I will ever again experience the closeness we once had. But I've also learned a powerful lesson about the perils of unforgiveness, and every time I'm tempted to hang onto something, this example from my own life comes to mind. I truly believe what Doug Bender says in Live Second: "Forgiveness is what lets hurts heal, relationships begin recovery, and life to move on."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes from the author. I was not required to give a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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