A Heart Filled with Unforgiveness

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother?s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 King James Version

Have you ever noticed that it is a lot easier to criticize and judge and point the finger at someone else than it is to criticize and judge and point the finger at ourselves? I believe as Jesus said “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” that He was very upset with them.

I believe that today He is very upset with us when we criticize people but our own hearts are filled with unforgiveness for others. How dare we criticize and judge people when we have unforgiveness in our own hearts? I just pointed my finger at my computer while typing this devotion. As I did, three fingers were pointing back to me. We are at times a very arrogant people.

We think that we are better than other people. We need to remember that all of us are just sinners saved by grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, let any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8, 9). Without the precious atoning blood of Jesus applied to our hearts, all of us are nothing but filthy sinners. “Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 53: 3).

This is a very difficult devotion to write because God has told me to share something very personal with you. I have to be honest and tell you that I don’t want to share it. However, after all that God has done for me, I will do anything that He asks me to do. I share this because I love Him with all of my heart and because I always want to be obedient and do what He tells me to do. On Thanksgiving Day in 1979, I was raped. It was dark and I never saw the man’s face. As a result of that rape, I became pregnant.

I had the most beautiful baby ever born. I named her April Dawn. I was working two jobs but still wasn’t making enough money to take care of her. I came home from work one day and realized that she had worn dish towels as diapers for a week because I didn’t have the money to buy her diapers. I realized that there was more to being her mother than just loving her; I needed to take care of her.

I went to my pastor and shared my heart with him. I told him that as much as it was hurting me, I was thinking of placing my daughter for adoption. I will never forget what he told me. He said “Joanne, neither I nor anyone else has the right to tell you what you should or should not do regarding adoption; that is between you and God. I will tell you this; if you do decide to place her for adoption you will find out who your real friends are.” He was so right!

I made the hardest and the most heartbreaking decision of my life and decided to place my beautiful precious daughter for adoption so that she would have the things that she needed; things that I could not buy for her. Every one of the people who claimed to be my friends stopped talking to me. The couple that I was staying with at the time told me to get out of their house, and to get out right that minute. They said that they never wanted to see me again.

My heart was already broken and I was hurting like I had never hurt in my life. When they made me leave their home, it was like someone had taken a knife and cut my heart into little pieces. As I was walking out their front door, the lady said “I will never forgive you for what you did.” How that hurt me! None of the people who criticized and judged me for placing my daughter for adoption had ever offered to buy diapers or food for her, yet they thought that they had a right to judge me and tell me what to do. My pastor was very wise and he was also correct. Only our Heavenly Father has the right to judge us and tell us what to do.

Today, I am twenty eight years old spiritually, but it is also my daughter’s birthday as she was born on the day that I invited Jesus into my heart to be my personal Saviour. I have not seen her since she was five months old and I don’t even know if she is alive or dead. However, the one thing that I do know is that Jesus loves her very much and that He is taking care of her. He promised me that He would take care of her and He does not lie. It is always safe to trust Jesus. What He says; He will do.

As much as that lady hurt me, it hurts Jesus even more to see how we allow unforgiveness for the ones who hurt us to build up in our hearts. There are times when we act very childish. We expect others to forgive us when we hurt them but we aren’t willing to forgive them. May God have mercy on us!

We need to remember that none of us are perfect. There was only one perfect person who ever lived or ever will live and His name is Jesus. It is time that we stop criticizing and judging and pointing the finger at people. A dear pastor friend of mine said in a sermon once when he was preaching about forgiveness, “If you will keep your own heart clean and make sure that your heart is right before God, you won’t have the time to criticize and judge other people.”

Is your heart filled with unforgiveness for people who have hurt you? If so, you need to ask God to forgive you and to please take the hurt away. Ask Him to take the unforgiveness from your heart, and replace it with compassion and unconditional love for others. Then, and only then, will you make the hearts of our Heavenly Father and our precious Saviour happy.

JoanneCopyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com

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