Photo by Bruce Nevin Haines
by: Carole L. Haines
I woke up from a terrible dream where I was in a meeting and the very people who wounded me so deeply, were now hurting someone else in my life. In the dream I went ballistic and kept repeating over and over again, “I hate them! I just hate those people!” I was pacing back and forth in the room and just couldn’t calm down. All the people in the meeting were trying to help me calm down, but I just couldn’t, I was so upset. I woke up and just couldn’t get back to sleep. It was then that I knew just how huge my resentment and unforgiveness was toward these people.
Have you ever been that wounded? Jesus has been putting the finger on this area in me for a little while now, and I just didn’t want to deal with it. I wanted God to make those people be sorry for what they did to me and how they treated me. But He was dealing with me, and I needed to take heed to what He was revealing about myself, and not be so concerned about those who had hurt me. That is God’s business, not mine.
The Old Testament uses the word forgiven about 24 times, the New Testament 38 times. The Old Testament deals with the Law, and The New with God’s Grace. His Word says:
“God also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)
When I try to exact justice for a wrong from another person, I am resorting back to the Law. The Law does not breathe life into me, The Spirit does. The Law says:
19 If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him. (Leviticus 24:19-20)
Our souls demand justice for our enemies, yet we want God’s grace for ourselves.
Jesus says this: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:43-45)
I asked God to show me an Acronym for HATE. The title to this Devotion is what I discerned:
Hell Alight, Truth Extinguished.
Hate distorts everything, even truth. It extinguishes God’s influence on our spirits and opens us up to all kinds of evil. I don’t want hate in my life, I want His Love toward others. Please pray for me and with me for this, and join me in seeking purity and truth in the innermost parts. I don’t want to just be saved by the Gospel, I want to manifest it to the world.
Help me, Jesus, to be a light in a dark place, soothing grace by forgiveness, and a fragrance of You everywhere I go. Forgive me, Lord, for not forgiving others as You have forgiven me so much. Teach me how to love those who have harmed me as You love me. I just don’t know how to do it. Amen.