James 4:12 “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?”
Like many people, Father’s Day is a difficult day for me. I have my own daddy issues and I grapple with the relationship between my sons and their father. After years of being uninvolved in his sons’ lives, my ex decided to try and build a relationship with them. The other morning I was talking to the Holy Spirit about the situation. I went on and on about how “the struggle was real” trying to forgive and move forward. The Holy Spirit listened carefully to me pour out my heart before returning with, “But is the struggle REALLY real? You should look up the definition of struggle.”
A bit offended, I looked up the definition of “struggle” and was confronted with the truth of my actions. One definition says: “a determined effort under difficulties”, and I immediately realized that I was in no way struggling. I was in no way making a determined effort to encourage the reconciliation of their relationship, forgive, or offer the same grace extended to me over and over. I did, however, make a determined effort to step in as Judge. I somehow thought I had the RIGHT to judge, although the Word of God clearly states there is only one Lawgiver and Judge.
I wanted to explain to the Holy Spirit how I should have the right to be slow to forgive, guarded and judgmental. I’ve experienced the hurt, disappointment, betrayal, and lies. I’ve seen my children cry and act out because their father wasn’t there. Is it really wrong for me to have a hard time forgiving? Well the answer is, if a broken heart and disappointment is really the problem, God covers that. He’s given His son Jesus, so that I may have access to not only God’s grace, but his healing and restoration. So carrying around unforgiveness isn’t necessary because God sent a solution for that. It’s up to me to accept it.
Demarcus brought a word Sunday about how we struggle with accepting love. We get so caught up in searching for perfection, acceptance, and guidance from people placed in our lives. We set high expectations on their humanity and become surprisingly disappointed when they can’t meet our expectations. Demarcus shared with us the pain of chasing a relationship with his dad. “I was longing for love and acceptance from the one I THOUGHT created me”. Haven’t we all been there? Searching for things in man that we can only find in God, the One who truly created us. When we can’t find those things in man, we become Judge, and we become bitter and unforgiving. But if we truly take on the struggle and make a determined effort to love people to the Cross, God is more than capable of convicting their hearts.
If hurt, disappointment, broken trust or any other feeling is really the reason behind being unable to offer grace, know that there is a solution for that in Jesus. Allow His Holy Spirit to come into your heart to mend, restore and heal. He’s also able to work in every situation that you find difficult allowing Him to be Judge. Choose to give it all over to Christ today. Let go and let God and see just how real the struggle ISN’T!
Heavenly Father, I often find myself stepping into your place as Judge and Prosecutor. God help me to give all of those difficult situations to you and learn to forgive and give others the opportunity to receive your grace and get it right! You’ve forgiven me so many times and never gave up on me. If you can do it for me, help me to believe that you can do it for others. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
By: Min. April Carter