Can you forgive, so that you might be free?
My wife and I have been on a road trip for 10 days now and we have visited friends and family in 4 states. That's right, 4 states. Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and New Mexico. God has been with us every step of the way, making us a blessing to those we have visited, and we have been bless by them as well.
There was one particular friend that we stayed with that carries a lot of pain that is disguised as bravado.
Much of her conversations with us was about people who bothered her, or took advantage of her in some way, or another. But the estranged relationship with her mother seemed to strike a nerve with me and triggered the "counselor" in me. She was angry with her mother, and just hearing her side, I felt she had a valid reason to be upset. There was a third party to the matter. He has been deceased now for 3 years and no longer able to do harm to anyone.
I asked her a question in the midst of her rant about her mother. I asked her "can you forgive, so that you might be free?" Silence. She began to quote from a secular, self help book. It smacked of Christian influence, and when i said as much to her, she was very strongly defending the book. When I recommended that she read the bible, to see what Jesus said about forgiveness and having compassion for one another I recommended
Ephesians 4:17-32, "Instructions for Christian Living."
I informed her that like Jesus the Christ commanded, I am obligated to inform her about the love of Jesus and His commandments to Love everyone. Of course she didn't want to engage with me any longer, but I thought if she would allow me to say one last thing, I did want her to know that because Jesus died on the cross, that we have been given a place in His Kingdom. We have only to believe, repent, and confess.