Have you ever been reprimanded for something you werenít at fault for? Maybe it was when you were a kidÖdid you get accused of an action or behavior you didnít do?
Do you remember how it felt? Was it like a knife to your heart? Did it bring tears? Did it make you mad or really angry?
How did you respond? Were you full of Godly love and forgiveness? Did you want to go lash out at the person who accused you? Did you back away and hide out?
Whatever your feelings or response, Iím guessing you can remember at least one experience like this in your past, or maybe in the present.
I experienced one of those situations today. Someone who didnít even take the time to find out if I was at fault for the situation harshly reprimanded me. They just ďblindlyĒ reprimanded me as if I were some child who had done a terrible deed. It took me back to the days of childhood when I would respond in one of two different ways: 1) Get so angry I screamed at the one who reprimanded me or 2) go hide under my bed where no one could reach me (there are benefits to being small sometimes!) to pull me out. Although I am much too grown up to physically climb under a bed and hide, I wish that I could still have that place where I was not able to be reached. Itís not like anyone is here beating me or saying anything, but it is just that ever-constant stress of the situation and feeling like I can hear the one who reprimanded me standing here looking over my shoulder shaking their finger at me.
The Bible tells us we are to forgive. There are hundreds of verses, many of them I have heard (an memorized) since I was a child. I know in my head and in my heart that God has commanded us to forgive seventy times seven times (thatís 490 times for those of you math challenged people like me!). I truly hope that it doesnít take me forgiving that many times to ďbe ridĒ of this feeling.
As I look at the situation today, it doesnít matter that I really wasnít at fault in any of the situations that were brought up. What matters most is that this person didnít take the time to find out if I knew of these situations or allow me the chance to correct the issues I knew nothing about. I felt blind-sighted by the whole situation. It seems I must keep applying the 70X7 principle with this person, and that is hard.
This afternoon as I was working around the house, still steaming, God brought a lesson to me. I am a mom of two beautiful girls. How often to I jump to conclusions with them or accuse them before knowing the whole story? Am I actually willing to hear out their side of the story when I donít believe they are telling me the truth? Do I, in my quickness to prejudge, bring these same feelings I have faced today, upon my own girls? Do I truly listen to what they are telling me or am I already thinking ahead to what my response is going to be?
I fear I am guilty as charged in most cases relating to the girls. God really put a finger on this today. I want to be a godly mom. Having said that, I know I am more accountable now then before!
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Isn't it funny that we forget so many things in life, but we remember in detail the times when we've been unjustly punished?
Yes, we need to be slow to accuse others and be quick to forgive those who have done it to us.