I was doing my Bible Study one morning when God gave me something to think about. It is opening up a whole new thought process.
We all are human; we all make mistakes. We have friends and those close to us who make mistakes and they are human too. Sometimes those same people hurt our feelings either on purpose or by mistake and some do it without even knowing it. Some have good intentions but we take their good intentions and the devil twists things until we believe something completely different.
Sometimes it’s easy to let go and move on and friendships stay in tact. Other times we hold onto to those hurts and we move away from those relationships or friendships. It’s like there is an unspoken strain on the relationship. We can’t let it go and we are afraid of being hurt again.
As I was thinking about this God spoke to me. I realize when I hang onto those hurts; when I put obstacles between me and others I am putting obstacles between Him and I. We are to love unconditionally; we are to forgive and let go of those things that are creating space. God wants us to be as close to him as humanly possible but if we have put up a barrier we can’t get as close as he’d like for us too. It’s when we tear down those barriers and forgive others and reach out in love that those barriers come tumbling down and the relationship heals do we begin to move closer to God.
Anything that comes between us and others; anything that keeps us from reaching out to forgive; anything that keeps us from restoring relationships is a barrier between God and us. God calls me to hate the sin but love the sinner. No matter how hard it is sometimes I am to love those who sometimes messes up. Matthew 5:44 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Luke 6:32 goes on to say, “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!”
If we step back from relationships we’ve had; if we don’t love those we should; if we refuse to love those we once loved and are holding back our love then we are doing a disservice to God and His word. It’s not easy to forgive someone who has hurt you. I know that. It’s not easy to reach out to those who we think have been unkind, it’s not easy to fight off how we feel, but that is exactly what God is calling us to do.
When we sin it isn’t God who puts up the barrier. We do by remembering the sin and not letting go. God has already forgiven us. More than likely he has already forgiven those who have pained you, but we are the ones who put the barriers up when we don’t forget.
Years ago I was mad and lashed out at someone. I asked for forgiveness but they refused. So I began to ask God to bless them. Before long their business was a success and doing great. They are still successful. I could have hung on to the hurt once forgiveness was denied instead I let go and prayed for blessings to fall on that person. I took down the barrier and moved a bit closer in my relationship with God.
I always tried to teach my kids to kill their enemies with kindness. We may not always find it easy, we may not always want to, but I believe if we do it often enough God will come in and help us with our attitude and before long our actions and attitudes will line up.
There are enough obstacles in this world that is trying to keep us from exercising our faith. There are all kinds of obstacles the devil is throwing at us; we don’t need to erect them ourselves. Instead of building barriers let us begin to tear them down and move closer to God and living a righteous life.
Have you built obstacles in your relationships with others? Are there things that have come between you and others? God doesn’t want there to be anything that will separate us from Him. God wants us to tear down and remove anything that obstructs us from having the relationship with Him he intended.
Dear God: I know I have in the past built barriers. Some of those barriers were meant to keep me safe. I put barriers up so I won’t be hurt again. But those barriers often keep me from receiving the healing you want to give me. Help me to tear down those barriers I might have and to love every one unconditionally. Barriers often block our pathway to you and that is not something I ever want to do. Help me as I restore friendships and if there are others who have barriers in my relationship with them help us to remove those obstacles and find our way to loving one another unconditionally. Thank you Jesus for loving me even when I sometimes don’t deserve the love you have for me or the love others have for me. Amen