Forgive Them For They Know Not

My parents called me to say they were moving from Northern California to San Diego to be closer to their grandchildren. Excited to finally hear these words, I praised God for his faithfulness in answering my prayers. 

Their news delighted me as I imagined family gatherings, watching my sons play football with my parents by my side, and their positive influence in the lives of my four children.

Then came the disappointing news. My parents found a house forty-five minutes north of where we lived, but in the same area as their grown grandson and his wife. Bothered by their decision, I begged them to reconsider, although they had placed an offer on a house they loved.

I prayed for God to redirect them and convict their hearts to cancel escrow. I even thought that God provided a way out when the house was appraised for thousands lower than the asking price, but they still decided to buy it.

Bitterness gripped me. It seemed insignificant, but for me, my heart ached. I felt rejected and betrayed.  

Hidden under the surface I was angry when I should have been joyful. The truth was my parents were nine hours closer than they were prior to the move, but I harbored unforgiveness. Bitterness raged within me when I was unable to attend family gatherings, when their new friends got more of their time and attention than my own family, when I was unable to be at my parent’s side during surgeries due to time restraints from the distance.

When I worked through the steps on forgiveness I asked God, who do I need to forgive? Surprised, He revealed my sin of unforgiveness toward my parents. He convicted me of my sin of selfishness. He showed me my bitter heart and resentment that I carried under my facade.

When I confessed my sin God reminded me of Jesus death on the cross. Jesus said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do,” as he was brutally beaten, flogged, and crucified. Jesus bore the burden of my sin and yours. As sinful people we pay the price of choices others make.

As minor as my situation was I realized that my parents did not intentionally hurt me. They did what they thought was right economically. They bought a bigger house in a less expensive area where their grandson lived. 

If Jesus can forgive me for all my sin the least I can do is forgive others when they unintentionally and even intentionally hurt me. Forgive them for they know not what they do.

God says in his word, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14.

When I confessed my sin of bitterness I was free to love them and enjoy their presence. Who has wronged you that you need to forgive?

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