The Heaviest Excess You'll Ever be Freed From

8:48 AMHeather

Life is hard.  Yes, call me Captain Obvious.  We get bruised and beat up on a daily basis--and often by each other.  We unknowingly--or knowingly--inflict pain and wounds on each other.  Stabbing each other in the back.  Or in more subtle ways when we lack consideration or compassion or sympathy.  In this battle that we call life, we are all wounded warriors.  

Yesterday, as I was once again pondering the idea of freedom from excess, God zapped me a big one.  I suddenly felt a conviction of the biggest and hardest excess that I often refuse to acknowledge.  Much less work to be freed from.

Before I say anything else, I am telling you to watch this video.   GO. I'm being the boss of you now.  Take the time to watch it.  Because it says way more than I ever could.

Do not read further if you have not watched it.  I MEAN IT!  (said in my stern Mama voice...and I'd use your middle name if I knew it).

Okay.  Now, I'm going to assume you all watched it.  Forgiveness.  Ugh.  Yes, did I have to mention that?  Because purging clothes is hard enough.  But, good grief, it's way easier than purging unforgiveness. 

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”  Lewis B. Smedes

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got."  Robert Brault

Talk about entitlement.  For me, nothing cuts to the heart of my sense of my rights than when they are violated or ignored or abused.  I deserve better, by golly.  And, thus, I begin the journey of dragging along this excess baggage of bitterness and unforgiveness.  Because my sense of "justice" rationalizes that I am right, after all.  Even though it means the closet of my heart is bulging from the weight of all that I drag around.  


And, I like to think it doesn't REALLY impact me negatively.  Because I am oh-so-justified in my feelings.  I mean, I can't be a door mat, right?  Boundaries are healthy.  While this is true, it can also be a huge deceit.  Because boundaries acknowledge  a past or a pattern that means fences need to be built for our own benefit in the future.  Boundaries can be God honoring.  But, boundaries DON'T mean we drag around the weight of unforgiveness as we build our fences.  


In my typical fashion, I vividly remember a concept from a Beth Moore study I did ages ago.  I am vague on the exact details, however.  I THINK it might have been Breaking Free or the Living Beyond Yourself.  In any event, Beth Moore's point was that the word picture in the original language for unforgiveness indicates the idea of tying a dead body to your back and dragging it along.  Yep, a decaying, stinking dead body.  Tied to you.  Doesn't hurt that body.  It's dead, remember?  But, the decay will eventually set in and impact you.  And it won't be good, my bloggy friends.  


Oh my gravy, I don't know about you, but that is convicting.  Because if there's any excess I need to chunk, it's a stinking nasty dead body.


Forgiveness.  A nice, pretty Sunday School word for a nearly impossible task.  Scratch that.  I mean, a truly impossible task.  Without God, that is.  That is indeed a God sized task.  So, if you've had your fill of dragging around some dead decaying nasty old unforgiveness, then join me here in my journey toward freedom from excess.  


Drop to your knees.  Tell the Lord you are willing to be willing.  Or you want to maybe think about cutting your unforgiveness loose because it sounds like a good idea?  But, you aren't sure how and you aren't even 100% you're ready to release it completely.  To be perfectly honest.  It's a starting place.  And, P.S.  God already knows your heart anyway, so just be real with Him.  And today, as you think on that hurt and that bitterness, just ask Him to help you see how freeing it would be to let it go.  And, ask Him to show you how.  Minute by minute, be willing to wrestle it through with Him.  I've found myself thinking on that quote about accepting the apology never offered.  When I think of the hurts inflicted upon me, I've asked the Lord to help me accept an apology that they may never offer.  I've asked him to remind me that He is the defender of my cause.  I've been asking Him to help me overlook offenses--in fact, to never even see them in the first place.


And, I've been asking Him to really help me get how much He has forgiven me.  To help me wrap my brain around the grace I've been given in new and fresh and life changing way.  I've been letting Him know that I need to remember that it's His lovingkindness that leads to repentence.  I'm asking Him to help me live as though I am loved by the God of all Creation.  That I'd grasp that love and live it out--offering forgiveness and all.  To be changed by love to action.  Rather than trying to earn love through actions.


Glimpse of GRACE:  Wow.  When I think about my word for 2012--GRACE--I think this blog post hits to the heart of it all.  And, I marvel at the curvy road I've been on these last 9 months as I've intentionally studied grace.  Grace is unmerited favor.  Being given something you don't deserve.  Um, yes.  How about the forgiveness of a Loving and Good Father through the sacrifice of His only Son?  And, yet, I drag around my dead and decaying bodies of unforgiveness, and it's a wonder I can take a step forward with the weight of all those bodies piling up.  


Think I may need to watch that video a few times today and memorize that song.  Because it sums it all up.  Forgiveness.  To love the unlovable.  To do the impossible.  To accept an apology never offered and to free myself from the prison of bitterness.  Freedom from excess.


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