Once my husband and I got into an argument over who knows what; and, as usual, he had the last word. I burned inside, and my thoughts ran wild. I went up to take my shower and to be alone. As I poured out my sorrows to God — the shower is a great place to pray — I told Him everything that my husband said, what my husband meant by his words, and that I knew my point of view was right.
How could he say that to me? After all I’d done for him! The nerve of that man! I planned on giving him a glacial silent treatment. That would teach him. As I continued to pout, I felt a familiar conviction coming up from within, and I knew it was God.
I also knew what He wanted me to do, and I argued with Him. “Oh, God, why do You want me to forgive him? You heard what he said! He doesn’t deserve it! He didn’t even ask for it! Lord . . . this is just like You.”
And I closed my mouth in silence for about sixty seconds as I thought about it. God wasn’t impressed with the silent treatment or my pity party. “Alright, Lord, I’m mad at him and I don’t want to forgive him (We might as well be honest with God; He knows how we really feel anyway), but I do want to obey You. So only because You want me to, I’ll forgive him.”
I meant my words. Two seconds later my spirit was lifted, and I exhaled a deep sigh. The anger and hurt I felt toward my husband rapidly faded away. A little later in the evening my husband and I apologized to each other, and the walls came down. Forgiveness, even before it is asked for, is so liberating.
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
– Psalm 66:18 (NIV)
“Lord, You know what You are doing when You give me instruction and commands. You know I will eventually put Your will above my own because Your voice is life to me. When You communicate Your will and I obey, everything else falls into place. My holding a grudge against someone is just like shooting myself in the foot. I thank You for Your mercy. Please help me now to forgive those who have not yet asked for it, including…”