Monday, April 11, 2016

Ashamed of myself

It's late at night and I've been thinking. I'm dangerous when I think, especially when I think about things that are hiding in the deepest, darkest corners of my mind. I hide things there...things I haven't processed yet, things that hurt me deeply, things I'd rather not think about and to make matters worse, I had been holding onto something I shouldn't have. I should have but I couldn't. It was too painful and I needed to keep my ammo just in case I ever needed it again, or so I thought.

When the terrible awful occurred, my heart was shattered in a million pieces. I could barely believe the person I loved so deeply could wound me in such an offensive way. Though undeniably guilty, my loved one had finally admitted fault, had even asked forgiveness and I, in my piousness, sat high upon my throne of self righteousness and stared smugly with arms crossed and nose tilted high in the air. How dare this one dare ask forgiveness when such a grievous crime had been committed?

Tonight, as I was looking through my photo gallery on my cell phone, I saw it...the evidence I'd captured and that's when I heard His voice say, "You must delete this, Bonnie. How can you hold on to unforgiveness when I have forgiven you completely of all your sin?" I sat quietly for a few minutes mulling over the voice I'd heard in my heart. I knew what I had to do. Immediately, I flipped back through my photos and found THE ONE, the incriminating evidence of the crime committed against me. I'd held it for weeks wondering when and if I was ever going to need to throw it up in the face of the one who had mortified and humiliated me and now, God was saying LET.IT.GO. My finger hovered over the photo and I felt tears welling up inside me. I wanted to forgive and forget, really I did, but why was it so hard? I heard Satan whisper in my ear, "Don't do it! If you delete that photo, your proof is gone. If you need it again, you can never prove it really happened." And before that sentence was finished, I knew exactly what I had to do and I did it. I hit delete. Instantly, I felt empowered but not as one who was victorious. I felt the power of the freedom to choose forgiveness. I had chosen to follow the Holy Spirit's leading. I had chosen to forgive and that was more powerful than I could have imagined. I knew God was pleased with me. I felt it in my heart. I was so ashamed of myself for holding onto this for so long. I should have released it weeks ago, in fact, I should have released it immediately when the loved one showed remorse for the wrong, but I did not.

How very easy it is for us to set ourselves up on thrones of judgment. We look at others and consider ourselves infallible and incapable of such a heinous crime. We build our thrones in high towers with fortified walls to protect them, but sin is like a termite nibbling away at the foundation. If we don't correct it at the moment of discovery, the damage compounds daily until the walls of our high towers start crumbling around us. We realize we are fallible. We realize we are judgmental. We realize we are capable of unforgiveness. We realize the ugliness inside of us. We realize the terrible awful crime that was committed against us wasn't really so bad after all because we are all sinners. There are no degrees to sin. Lying is just as bad as adultery in God's eyes...sin is sin and it's ugly and terrible and awful. But thank goodness for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He comes to help us know right from wrong. He guides us in doing what is holy and righteous and Christlike. And if we listen to that still, small voice inside us, we know what we need to do and we know when we need to do it and being obedient makes God extremely happy because in so doing, we learn to follow after His heart. We learn to love in the way God intends us to love. We learn to forgive even when we don't want to because we know it's the right thing to do. We learn to let things go.

I feel so much lighter now knowing I did what God wanted me to do. I am happy that photo is no longer recorded on my cell phone. I won't ever be tempted to pull that picture up and refer to it again, to hurt, to wound, to condemn...I am not powerful. I do not have that right. Only God has the right to convict a person's heart and He does it in such a way that He shows love and gentle discipline. I'm so thankful I didn't listen to Satan's lies and keep the incriminating evidence. He must have slithered away when I didn't fall prey to his promptings. Now I can go to bed with a clear conscience. Those thoughts I hadn't wanted to deal with are no longer stored in the deep, dark recesses of my mind.  And tomorrow, what joy I'll have as I face my loved one with no more judgment, no more anger, no more hurt, and no more pain. I will be free and so will he because I have released him from my grip of unforgiveness.

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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