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Tag Archives: Unforgiveness

Mad at God?? ….happens all the time!

I hear it pretty often from people. Because of how their life is going, or because of something that they’re convinced that God mishandled on their behalf….people do find themselves mad at Him….sometimes very mad. And I’ve seen a few, what I’d call, extreme cases where the anger lasted a lifetime. It seems sad to me but at the same time I can kind of understand how someone could end up there.

I’ve never been mad at Him. Doesn’t make me any more mature, or any more spiritual, than anyone else….I just haven’t been mad at Him. Somehow, some way I’ve known, as long as I can remember, that God is good. Remember now, that’s coming from someone who didn’t grow up in church and didn’t have a whole lot of orientation about God at all. I’ve thought about it quite a bit and I guess it boils down to a couple of things for me. 1) It was imparted to me from my Mom & Dad. I’m certain that this is true, although I can’t tell you when, where or how….it just happened….and I’m eternally grateful to them for it. 2) It’s just, simply, a revelation from the Father Himself. Personally….I think it’s a good combination of both.

I’ve had a great life, but with just as many ups and downs as the next guy. And I guess if I’m being honest, here, I’d have to say that a lot of the downs were, either directly or indirectly, self-inflicted. But not everyone’s hardships are self-inflicted such as the loss of a child or a parent. And these things can leave us wondering if God has let us down.

Well, He didn’t let you down….no matter how convinced you are of that. It’s totally against His nature as a Father to do that. I remember vividly nearly 22 years ago when our family lost a little boy. It was devastating to put it mildly. But right in the middle of our grief He spoke clearly to my spirit, “Andy, if you could see the big picture, you’d know everything is OK.” It immediately brought peace. He always knows just the right thing to say at just the right time.

I had a friend tell me recently that upon the loss of his dad that he immediately blamed God and turned his back on Him for 4 or 5 years…only to find out after that time that God didn’t give up on him…He just loved him more. 

Maybe you’re reading and you have something that you’ve been mad at Him about. (it could be consciously or subconsciously) I can tell you that God can take you being mad at Him a lot longer than you can take it. He’d love to give you His perspective on your indictment against Him….but you’ll have to be open for it.

If you’ll run to Him,….He’ll help!

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What If I’d Said, No?

I didn’t….so it’s just theoretical. I’m not going to….so don’t get all uptight about it. But occasionally it does go through my mind…..mostly at times when I’m down or discouraged. Yeah, people like me have those times too. Most won’t admit it…fearing it to be a sign of weakness. And, without a doubt, there are those in every group that could start the ‘feeding frenzy’ when a spiritual leader admits he’s actually human, and vulnerable. And, from what I’ve seen by observing other leaders…church people can be some of the most vicious and mean-spirited of them all. Crazy huh?!

It was in 1986 that I heard the call of the Lord on my life. I remember the day well. I was training a horse in the big round pen at the ranch near Allison, Texas. I got off, tied him up and drove the 7 miles to town to talk to my Pastor, Ronnie Chadwick. *(click to read the account) As I remember, it was pretty clear from the Lord. And also, just as clear, was my response to Him that day. It was an easy, “Yes”! I had absolutely no idea what it all meant but I was ‘all-in’, whatever that was.

It was the same when we said “Yes” to the work in Sayre. I’d been asked a dozen times or more to take the little group (6-8) and be their leader. I hadn’t heard a single thing from the Lord that I should do it. But in one critical week the Lord spoke clearly to both Julie and me. We said, “Yes”, and the rest is history, so to speak.

I’m not sure what I’d be doing….or where I’d even be had I said “No”, on those two occasions. For me it’s kind of scary to think about. I doubt I’d be in Sayre, Oklahoma. I’d probably be doing something involving horses and cattle, or ranching. It’s what I knew best…and what I loved doing. On some of the really hard days that life, as hard as it can be too, looks pretty dang good.

But I think about the things that I’d be missing had I said, “No”. I’d have missed at least some of the amazing things the Lord has miraculously done in, through and around us in the last 30+ years. It’s almost embarrassing to admit the times down through the years that ‘quitting’ seemed the thing to do. But I’m not a quitter, never have been…it’s a family trait. I’ve noticed people down through the years who quit, knowing they shouldn’t have,…and it appears that they don’t like themselves much after that. Of course the call of the Lord is one very valid reason for not quitting. But the thing that’s kept me going all these years is my incredible family (best on the planet!)….and this amazing bunch of people at Trinity Fellowship that actually believe in what we’re doing…..and have bet their lives on making a difference!

So, yep…I’m human, and a pretty flawed one at that! But I’m on a pretty decent 30 year run of saying “Yes” to the Lord. My policy has always been to be ‘real’. I’m not of the, ‘fake it ’til you make it’, variety. I’m glad I said, “Yes”. And I still don’t know what it all means! But, I’m all-in for whatever He says!

If you like this one….You’ll like this one, too:

Thank You, Mother Teresa

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“To Err is Human, To Forgive is Div………Well, It’s Just Flat Out Hard Sometimes”!

Do you want to be a good ‘forgiver’?? Most people would answer, “Yes”, to that question. But the reality is that we only get better at it when we practice it! And you know what that means, right? Somebody has offended you; someone has betrayed you, someone has wounded you. These offenses that come our way might be trivial in nature or they may have left some very deep wounds and if not ‘tended’ to in a positive way, carry the possibility of being permanent. Either way, when forgiveness is required, it’s just kinda hard.

It’s just a fact of life that we’re going to get offended……..and we’re going to offend others, as well. Jesus, in the training of the Twelve told them that “offenses must come”. The kingdom of God is really all about relationships…..that’s why they’re so hard. The greatest blessings and rewards in life are relational…….and the greatest frustrations are relational, as well.

There was a guy years ago that was a complete ‘thorn in my flesh’. His mission in life was to torment me and make me as miserable as he could. He was actually being fairly successful at it, although I never did get in the flesh with him…..but man, I wanted to!! It was way back when the church was small and I was working another job. I sat at my lunch break and wrote down 18 things that I needed to confront him about. These were 18 legitimate things too…..not ‘trumped up’ things; for instance, after one of our conversations he peeled out with his car throwing dirt and gravel all over me. Yep…..that kind of stuff! My plan was to go to him and confront him about these 18 things….and just being candid, here…..he really did need to be confronted of some of those things….and in love, of course, which just makes it harder. On my drive home that day the Lord started showing me all the things that He’d forgiven me for. It really made my ‘little list’ of 18 seem kind of trivial. I often think of some of those things and realize, again, that the Lord was allowing the testing, and giving us the opportunity to behave and react like He would.

Here are a few things that’ll make you a good forgiver:

  1. Just know that offenses are coming; it really does help to come to that realization.
  2. Set your mind/heart now to forgive anyone who offends/betrays you.
  3. Put the ‘value’ on your relationships…..like the Father has! It’ll change everything!
  4. Pray for the people that hurt you! It does as much, or more, for you than it does them!

Here’s a few of my own quotes about forgiveness:

“Forgive somebody, you’ll both be glad you did!”

“It’s never wrong to forgive……it’s always right!”

“Forgiveness is not a ‘feeling’ you have….it’s a ‘choice’ you make” 

“Anytime we forgive, a minimum of two people are set free!”

“Unforgiveness puts you in prison…..but the ‘key’ to the cell door is always in your possession!”

“Of everyone in the picture of woundedness and betrayal….no one has has much to gain as ‘the forgiver’!!”

(*Feel free to use any of those quotes (in fact, please do)….but I’d appreciate it if you’d credit me with them)

So, to finish the title quote, “To err is human, to forgive, divine!” 

To forgive and to become a ‘good forgiver’ is proof that we’re becoming like Jesus!

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