Soften Our Hearts . . .

hard-heartRelationships come and go . . .. We’ve heard this said so many times and there is truth in it. However, how many of those relationships were ended because our flesh was offended in a way that brought in a wall of unforgiveness?

Being a human is tough enough, being a woman seems to be even more so. Nevertheless, for God to ask us to walk in love towards another person who has wronged us . . .
How many questions have we listed on our ‘secret notepad’ to ask God in heaven?

We toss relationships so easily in a minimal way in the words of ‘what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’? To be honest, strength is a good God characteristic; but when not balanced with the love of God we lose our gentleness towards others killing our reflection of Christ. The question then rises . . . How tough do we want to be; tough enough that we miss God’s leading in areas that exemplify His love.

Yes, there are those relationships God does direct us to end because they are unhealthy. Then there are those relationships that we need strong Godly boundaries in order that God’s hand can be in the midst. However, how many relationships did we deny, shove out of the way, cut off with a sliver blade in the name of God when in fact it was our offense, our fear, our past hurts that caused us to walk away and in some cases run.

There is a fine line in knowing
which relationships are God given gifts;
which ones are God assignments;
which ones are God given to strengthen us.

As women, we tend to run our lives by emotions if we are not living in the spirit of God. This causes us to compare, judge, accuse, and make assumptions of others. Why do we do this . . . because we are a vessel that lives in a spiritual and natural world that ultimately is directed orchestrated by our choices – our responses.

When we are living in the spirit, (our goal), we make Godly choices producing Godly responses that lead to Godly relationships. Likewise, when we are living out of our flesh, (our emotions), we allow our choices and responses to lead us into areas of fear and doubt which in turn opens the door for offense. In some cases leading us to isolation or areas of control and manipulation.

It is not easy living by the spirit, because we constantly are living in a flesh-by-flesh molded world that needs God’s mercy and grace 24/7. So, how we do stay in communion with the spirit of God His love towards others? By guarding our hearts, digging deep into His word, and asking the Holy Spirit to walk with us each day. By keeping in pace with the Holy Spirit, we are able to hear with clarity the voice of our Father. Each stride brings us closer to hear His heart beat for others, especially towards those that God sets in our path of destiny.

How do we rid ourselves of offense and forgive those we feel have wronged us?

Sometimes being a woman of God, living in the spirit means we have to lay down our pride (fear, hurt, mistrust) at the throne of our Father. In that we are saying that, we chose to forgive. Even though we may feel we are justified, that we have every right to hold on to that wrong against us . . . Especially, when we do not feel we’ve done anything wrong. We still need to forgive. Why?

When Christ died on the cross, He took on all sin, even ours. When we hold onto something that we feel is another’s sin, we form an offense that holds us in bondage and does not allow us to walk in the freedom Christ bore for us. We are saying, “I want to do the job on the cross because I will feel justified; because it makes me feel powerful in my hurt and anger, because it has made me stronger; because I have the right to be right.”
In reality, the only thing it has made us is weaker, a dull sword, and wounded . . .
broken and carrying a harden heart.

Soften our Hearts, Oh God!

When we walk in the complete love of God towards another person –unconditional love – we are, allowing Christ to step in bring healing and resolution to areas that we have no control over within our own lives and that of the other person. God’s love at work in us is evident when we are able to look past the wrong, the hurt and forgive. As we forgive, we allow freedom to reign over lives and we are able to reach out with the love of Christ in a way that our thoughts, our words, our actions exemplify love not hate or bitterness . . . or offense. The longer we hold onto the hurt, the offense the longer we hold ourselves in bondage.

I encourage you this week to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you who you hold an offense against. He may show you only one or He may show you many.
No matter the amount or the reasons, seek His face . . .
Seek Him with a heart of repentance for holding a grudge, bitterness, hate . . . offense towards that person
Break the unhealthy soul tie between you and that person
Ask for God’s forgiveness
If you need to ask forgiveness of the other person or tell them you have forgiven them DO IT . . this is your choice as each case is different
Walk in your renewed gift of freedom
Choose upon each day rising that you will walk in the love of God living by the spirit not the flesh
For some this may be a daily routine until you feel released. This is because for some offenses, roots of bitterness have been allowed to set in and a changing of heart and breaking of mindsets are an area of healing that must take place.

Suggested Reading: Ephesians 4:20-32
All Brake 5 Blogs and written works by Jennifer Goodson are Copyright © 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Brake 5 staff and Jennifer continually hold times of prayer for those who have sent in their requests every Saturday. To submit a prayer request click here.
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