When You've Run Out of Forgiveness

I am so tired of being the one who always forgives first. I am over being the peacemaker. I am out of forgiveness. 

I actually thought these thoughts two mornings ago. In fact, I wrote them down in my journal.

God, I don't want to do this anymore. Are you even real? Holy Spirit, please do something in my heart.

It was a Wednesday morning which, in my life, means I have Bible Study Fellowship. Per usual, I hadn't done all of my homework for the lesson and had a few more questions to answer before we left. (Hashtag mom life!) I reheated my coffee for the 17th time, opened my binder and flipped to my notes. We were studying John 17, Jesus' high priestly prayer for his followers, asking God for the Church to be united, known for its oneness, so that He may be glorified.

Part of my homework was to look up Ephesians 4: 1-3.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Guys. OUCH. The people I most often struggle to extend forgiveness to over and over and OVER again are the people I do life with regularly. I feel as if Paul is saying, "you say you love Jesus? Prove it with your actions." 

If I can't even be humble enough to bear with my family and close friends in love, what am I showing to unbelievers? Am I showing oneness? Unity? Is my life characterized by an eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? My KIDS are unbelievers y'all. They are watching me, watching to see what this Jesus thing is all about. Am I showing Jesus to them in my actions? Never again will I get an opportunity to spend SO MANY HOURS discipling an unbeliever as I do with my children. They watch how I respond to their dad. They hear the comments under my breath. They know the tone of voice I use when no one is around. 

Humility. Gentleness. Patience. Bearing with one another in LOVE. Eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit.

Sometimes, when we beg the Holy Spirit to show up and be real to us? He does it. I was NOT expecting it to be in this way, but it has upended my life the past couple of days. I want to be EAGER. Eager to maintain unity. In my home, in my friendships, in my church family. 

Our greatest witness to unbelievers is NOT our own individual holiness, how well we follow the law. Our greatest witness is our oneness, our unity, our love for one another. 1 john 4:19 says we love BECAUSE he FIRST loved us. He paved the way for love. In John 13, Jesus straight up says that they'll know we are following Him because of our love for one another. THIS is our greatest witness. How we love one another.

Press on, friend. Maintain the relationship. Seek unity. Unity in the body IS more important than all of the scripture you've memorized. James says to not merely listen to the word, but to do what it says. 1 John says  we don't love in merely word but in DEED and TRUTH. Let's walk in a manner worthy of our calling. We got this, because we got the Holy Spirit.


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