On May 18, 2018 I decided to go on a forgiveness consecration and fast. I prayed and read devotional thoughts for 30 days. I fasted for ten days, asking God to search my heart and show me why it was so hard to manage the emotions in some of my relationships.
See, I didn’t feel I had anything against anyone. I had forgiven everyone in my life, but getting along was proving to be extremely difficult. There were certain relationships that I just couldn’t get a handle on. I wondered why I couldn’t get enjoy relationships with the people I love.
I was wise enough to know that it couldn’t be them alone at fault. I begged God to show me my role in all the “drama.” During my 30 days, this is what He told me.
God: It isn’t forgiveness you lack. It is reconciliation.
Me: But God, I can’t reconcile with folks who don’t want to reconcile with me.
God: You must first reconcile things within yourself before you could ever hope to reconcile with others.
God showed me that I wasn’t able to get along with certain people because they constantly pushed my buttons. I lacked the self-control to let comments slide or perceived insults roll off my back once my buttons had been pushed.
God showed me that if I reconcile the hurts I have sustained, the buttons will no longer work. Folk will still push them, but my response will be different because there is no longer an open wound in the spot they are poking.
Family, this has changed EVERYTHING!!!!
When someone pushes the fight button, I opt out. When someone pushes the flight button, I stand my ground prayerfully. When someone pushes the panic button, I look to Jesus for His famous words, “PEACE, be still!”
God is slowly helping me reconcile the hurt, deactivating my buttons. I feel so free!! I am no longer a slave to over reacting, to arguments, or hurtful comments or actions.
I am reconciling my need to be approved of or accepted. The acknowledgment of the hurt I have experienced when I was not accepted has helped me to process what it really means.
I have decided that in this stage of my life, not being approved of or accepted by another human being means absolutely NOTHING. It is God’s approval that I seek. It is His acceptance that does it for me.
This new understanding has freed me to be more and more authentically me. And when others don’t approve of me, it has allowed me to experience disapproval with a completely different response. My relationships have been forever changed.
What relationships in your life would benefit from you reconciling some things within you?
Perhaps you have a fear of abandonment because a parent walked away from you, so you flip out whenever you perceive someone is opting out of relationship with you. Suppose you’ve been abused, so you go on the defensive when you perceive someone is coming for you. Perhaps you fear rejection because your first love chose to be with someone other than you, so you diminish yourself just to please the people in your life.
All the hurts we have sustained come from somewhere. That is why we feel we should be alright after we have forgiven the parent, the first love, or whoever it was who hurt us, but reconciliation with the person isn’t the thing that necessarily frees us from troublesome behaviors and tricky triggers.
Forgiving the person who hurt us is definitely freeing, but until we reconcile the hurt that situation caused us to feel, it will continue to dictate our behavior every time we feel that way.
The good news is that all our hurts can be reconciled, so that they do not control us. And why does this matter for us? Why should we reconcile things within ourselves?
Because God has given us the ministry of reconciliation that we might reconcile others to Him, just as Christ reconciled us to God while we were yet sinners. Because when we react from our hurts and lash out at others, we mar the image of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Because healthy relationships are a sign of a healthy person.