The Devil in his cunning,
Wants you to resent,
The person in how they hurt you,
He wants you emotionally bent.
The Devil in his pride,
Allows Christians their hypocrisy,
And so long as they don’t obey their God,
They align to a divine conspiracy.
The Devil in his hatred,
Seeks to create ructions in the ranks,
Where their love is lacking in motive,
Where for others there are no thanks.
The Devil in his greed,
Tempts Christians to leave their post,
To think selfishly against love,
And to give up on God their Host.
The Devil will let you do anything, but obey God. This is why those that stand in our way when we are trying to obey are at crossed purposes to God. Any time we resist God by falling to Satan’s cunning, pride, hatred, or greed we go the way of the world and we justify that it’s okay not to forgive. What a reprehensible outcome! To justify the ostracisation of those who claim to love God. Grace can always intercede through faith in even the most difficult of relational situations. It is our lack of faith that gives up on people.
To stubbornly hold on to unforgiveness is to deliberately disobey God. The opportunity, moreover, is to understand that resentment and bitterness are invitations to reconcile. The gift is awareness. And awareness is the invitation to humility – to bend to God’s will, which is to reconcile by letting go of our hatred, greed, and pride.
The Devil wants you to fight for your own justice. He does not want you seeing forgiveness as either possible or transcendent. The Devil is a liar, so just watch for the justifications as they surface in our minds and hearts to limit God’s comprehensive intent for forgiveness. There is only one way to please and honour God: to forgive those who hurt us, unreservedly.
Forgiveness may not begin from a heart attitude. It will start begrudgingly. But where we wilfully persist in putting the other one first – yes, at any cost – we will see God’s grace working through us and through them. It won’t happen overnight. We will need to persist; especially as the other person recoils to hurt us (again and again), which is a test of our motive and of our resolve to forgive. Prepare to be tested. It’s not the other person who’s testing us, but Satan, and God knows we can overcome such tests.
We must never set out to forgive for selfish reasons, for we are destined for disappointment. People may say, “Forgive for your own sake...” but, truly, forgiveness is for life and hope in both people, and for life and hope to ultimately coexist between aggrieved parties.
One thing I can say I’ve seen time and time again in my life: there is the real hope of living in harmony with everyone. Even if someone doesn’t agree with you, they don’t have to dislike (or worse, loath) you. When we resist the Devil and shower those that hurt us with grace we do see God’s Spirit at work. Then we believe in miracles; real relational miracles.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.
Photograph by Fuse.