When a local grocery store first began doing grocery pick up I was so excited. I thought, yes, sign me up for that!
So I tried it.
The ordering online was easy, getting to my spot was easy, calling them to tell them I had arrived was easy. What wasn’t easy was waiting for my groceries.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
Apparently there had been a mix up and I’m not sure of all the details, but in the end it took almost an hour to get my groceries.
The employees were very nice and I, although steam had begun to come out of my ears around 25 minutes into my wait, pasted a smile on my face and, through gritted teeth, thanked them. I drove off with not happiness in my heart, head or attitude.
I kept thinking of all the things they could’ve done to make the situation not so wrong. I noticed when I would drive by the store I would turn my nose up and get irritated all over again about that hour wasted waiting on groceries that defeated the purpose of the entire convenience experience. I even boycotted this place for a bit.
And then one day I realized I needed to forgive this grocery store.
So, with God’s help, I did. And now this store and I are not only back on great terms, but the best of friends (well, my checkbook is).
I let grace slide into all the areas I thought they could’ve, should’ve done better. I let mercy fall in the spaces of what they could’ve, should’ve done to make it better or to have avoided my inconvenience.
And healing took place. Since then, if there’s an error in my order, I give them grace.
I realize this story of forgiveness is small and seemingly insignificant, but I use it as an example. I know we have all been wronged by people and perhaps, some so wronged, it has left painful scars and wounds that are still bleeding.
It is hard to forgive.
But it can be done with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to continue walking in unforgiveness, but with Christ as our Savior, we have the power to do as God has called us, His children, to do. We have the mighty power to forgive.
God always calls His people to forgive. It’s what sets us apart.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Because we have been forgiven, we can forgive others.
Loving others = forgiving them. We have the power to do this through the Holy Spirit no matter how large or small the offense.
It’s through Him we do this…not ourselves.
We walk by the Spirit, not our flesh. The flesh erodes, rots, wounds and grows bitter. We become better with God and the power inside of us to forgive!
Who do we need to forgive today? Some major offense? Or perhaps a grocery store?? It frees US when we forgive wrongdoing. We don’t get sucked into a cycle of bitterness.
Ask the Lord to search our hearts for any unforgiveness lurking. Take the bitterness and unforgiveness to Him, pray continuously for Him to heal the hurt and then walk in the freedom of forgiveness.
In Jesus name, amen.