Keep Love in the Front Seat

Monica Green handles pressure very well. Some would say it comes from single-parenting two children, one of them with autism and the other high-schooler struggles with anxiety sometimes. Monica handles it all while keeping a smile on her face. Her bosses and coworkers love her; they are like family. When her long time employer was on the bridge of bankruptcy, like everybody else, Monica went over and above to make sure the doors didn’t close right before Christmas. Well, the business did eventually close, and things were tight, but Monica had dealt with tough times before. Keeping the faith that God would work it out, CHECK! Remaining optimistic and steady during a move three hours away from her family and friends to accept a new job, CHECK! Cooking breakfast, making sure kid’s homework is done, preparing lunches, and dropping off the kids at school before 7am, CHECK!!! Forgiving the ex-husband for abandoning her when things got tough, ummm, get back to her on that one.

For many women, especially divorced women that are now the head of their households, forgiveness doesn’t always come easy. Letting go of the hurt and pain caused by an ex-husband or a significant other can be a process. It takes patience, diligence, and a great desire to please God. Forgiveness is an area of our Christian walk that is more important than any of us can ever imagine. One indication of its importance is in the prayer template that Jesus Christ taught us and the disciples. In Matthew 6:12-13, he tells us to pray that God will forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Forgiving others will open the door for God to forgive us. Jesus goes on to tell us in Matthew 6:14-15(NLT), “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

This is very serious business! An unforgiving heart is fostered by our will and desire to hold on to bitterness and resentment. An unforgiving heart signals the heavens of our refusal to submit to the authority of Christ. It is a refusal to humble ourselves before God and allow His love access to the places in us that are severely broken. He wants to heal us. In order to let His healing complete it’s perfect work in our hearts, we must repent for the sin of resentment and bitterness. We must invite the Holy Spirit to help us release it. He’ll tear down the walls of fear we’ve built up around our hearts. Then we can be a living and holy sacrifice that is acceptable to God. If we refuse to do this, as harsh as the reality sounds, an unforgiving heart will doom us to hell. For Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 that unless we are converted and turn from our sins as humble children, we will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

We are sometimes hurt so badly that we want the person to feel the wrath of what they’ve caused us. Ephesians 6:12 tells us very plainly that our real enemy is the devil, and he is the one who works against us, and will sometimes use our loved ones to do it. But we refuse to see it this way. We want vengeance, and that is a path that will always cause a person to spiral downward. God said in Romans 12:19 that vengeance belongs to Him. He set up the universe in a way that it handles all such matters perfectly. We are not to interfere with God’s perfect law; for it needs no interference from us.

There’s nothing that we lose in broken relationships that God can’t give back to us. He reminds us of this in Joel 2:25, when He told His people that He would give back what they had lost. We must remember that the walls we put up to protect ourselves also block God’s love from entering in. Never ask God’s love to take a back seat. It will forever and always deserve to be in the front, steering our lives to infinite possibilities, blessings, and continued peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must remember that God doesn’t condemn us when bitterness is in our hearts, but it is our responsibility and privilege to ask the Holy Spirit to help us get rid of it. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Keep Love in the Front Seat”,written for Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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