Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Being tenderhearted has its ups and downs. Some people like me because I am sensitive, compassionate and considerate. Others dislike me for being too sensitive. So how do I handle this dilemma? I stay true to who I am and who I was created to be. God designed me for a purpose and that purpose it to glorify Him.
God uses our positive character traits to bring others to Him. On the other hand, our character flaws can hurt others deeply. Ask me how I know this. I really hurt my youngest daughter. Unintentionally, but I hurt her. Today after lunch with my her, I was praying for God to change our rather distant relationship. I felt her coldness and wondered what to do.
She’s my baby. Who has one baby of her own and another on the way. I look at her and think back on the days when I was her age; unmarried, full of the joys of young adulthood, fun and all night fellowship, sitting on the golf course in the dark praying and talking about the wonders of the Lord with a group of believers. I pray “Lord, she’s too young to have babies of her own, she’s hurting so much financially, and she needs my advice.”
She does not want my unsolicited advice!! She just wants me to love her and be there to support her when I am asked. She wants me to let her make her own mistakes and learn from them. And she told me, in black and white terms in an email, that I had hurt her and was driving her away. I had given her advice too much, said things that made her feel she wasn’t up to par with motherhood, made her feel I was questioning her decisions. She wasn’t mean about it at all; she was very honest and also told me a few times she loved me and appreciated what I do for her.To me, honesty is the backbone of a strong relationship. I was devastated that I had hurt her so much and tears flowed all over my face, keyboard and even my t-shirt.
The Holy Spirit filled my heart with an awareness of how I was hurting her and how I needed to back off. I was remorseful and ashamed that I had no filter on my words at times with her. I truly thought it was still my job to guide her like I did when she lived at home and not on her own with her own family of three, almost four. I don’t do this with my older children but for whatever reason, I felt like she “needed” my advice.
I am happy to say I did not get defensive because she was 100% right. I humbled myself and apologized and she forgave me, just like God forgives us when we sin. My youngest daughter, not quite 20, showed me what forgiveness looks like this evening. Tears keep flowing on and off but they are tears of healing and hope for a better relationship than we have had this past year.
I am an imperfect person loved by a perfect God. He's so good to give me a new look at what immediate forgiveness looks like. He's so good to answer my prayer so quickly too.
When someone comes to you to share how you have hurt them, try really really hard to listen to them. Pray a fast prayer to be open to their words. Be ready to apologize and ask for forgiveness if indeed you were wrong. And when someone has wronged you and comes to ask for forgiveness, offer it as freely as God does. Watch for a miracle in your relationship.
God, thank you for your forgiveness of all I have done and will do that hurts You and others. Teach me to filter my words even with those that are closest to me.
Trusting in Him,Becky