Yesterday I said I was leaving the message about forgiveness until today because I needed to get my grandkids and take them to their schools. That was my flesh speaking and my flesh assignment at the moment. It was true but my mind thought that during the day and last night while teaching the lesson on forgiveness, God would show me some things about forgiveness I needed to address. Little did I know what that was going to be.
The lesson does focus on our need to accept God’s forgiveness for our sins, our forgiveness of others who have harmed us and ask forgiveness where we have harmed, and lastly, forgive ourselves. Where the lesson emphasizes forgiving others it brings out neglect as part of abuse. I’d taught this lesson before. The part I’ve dealt with of late regarding mom’s neglect of addressing me regarding my bother’s sexual abuse or dad’s physical/emotional abuse was left unattended. I’ve dealt with this of late. So I wanted to teach the group that they needed to be sure and not have this hanging in their own lives. My mind thought this must be what God wanted me to do with the lesson.
This morning I was bringing all of this to God in my journaling wondering if there was something missing? A couple of important things were brought to my attention. I have been rather irritable of late with all the “out of my control” things happening with the remodel of my daughter’s home, some things in our own home and my means of dealing with them. I had turned to “barking” at people or being silent since I really don’t like “barking”. As I was journaling on this God showed me I’d learned this behavior with my dad. I hated how he did a lot of things while I was growing up so I resorted to silence with him because I could never “bark” at him even though my whole body screamed its desire to do so. As I asked God about this He said to ask His Holy Spirit and so I did. It seemed The Holy Spirit was happy to respond. He indicated that my body’s response to all this chaos is my flesh. To be the spiritual man God’s new creation has me to be, I must surrender this character defect I learned so long ago. I can bring these frustrations to Him–The Holy Spirit and let Him lead me through chaos knowing I don’t need to take charge–He wants that job.
This makes so much sense to me and I’m ready to do this. I feel like a man learning an entirely new means of responding. I’m sure I’ll flub up but I want to stay on this track of becoming God’s spiritual servant. For, when I respond to life as I’ve been, this is when forgiveness enters the picture, I have to seek forgiveness by apologizing for my behaviors. When I respond through God’s Holy Spirit’s leadership, Godliness is seen rather than flesh.