“If you do not forgive others their sins, God will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15
A major cause of relapse in recovery is unresolved anger and resentment. The longer it is allowed to fester, the worse our relationships become. What is the antidote for resentment? It is forgiveness. I struggled with resentment for years in recovery; to forgive someone who is deliberately hurting you, not so easy to do. Let me share a story with you.
Early in my recovery I struggled with resentments towards a co-worker who had some authority over me. She let it be known she didn’t like people like me and if it was up to her, she would have nothing to do with me. Resentment crept in even though I tried to forgive her over and over again, but every time I met with her it just got worse. What to do; my prayers weren’t working, talking it over with my sponsor wasn’t working, inventory and letting go wasn’t working. My attempts at forgiveness and then taking it back was wearing me down (I didn’t know then that forgiveness is a process; how do you know if you have forgiven? You stop pressing the mental and emotional replay button).
Turns out God was listening to my prayers. One day I received a phone call from a local treatment center asking if I could be a temporary sponsor for a young man being released. I said sure and went to see him at his home. I rang the doorbell and guess who answered, my resentment in all her anger. She looked at me and I at her (I thought we were both going to faint, surely I had the wrong address). I inquired about the young man and asked if he lived there, she said “yes, he is my son.” What happened next? Nothing short of a miracle. I met with her son and then spent time with her. We had a long talk and I learned of her pain and frustration in living with a husband who was an alcoholic, and now her son? It was too much for her. When she opened up I had nothing but compassion for her, she was wounded and riddled with un-forgiveness. Imagine going from hating someone to having compassion for them in just a few minutes, only Jesus can pull that off, that’s the cross at work.
His forgiveness of our sins: past, present, and future is the model for us to strive for, 7 times 70 if need be. She and I both learned a valuable lesson about resentments; unless you forgive, resentment will control your life and you will become imprisoned by it. The greatest friend a sinner can have is Jesus, he has already set you free, but sometimes it just takes us time to realize it.
“Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for our sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Make this New Year a great God filled year (one day at a time). Do your part and trust God do the rest.
Love God, love people, Jesus first!
Dana Cramer // Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads
Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads Church Calendar
January 8-14, 2018
Friday, January 12: Testimony Night
- 6pm: Our Hospitality Team is preparing a wonderful dinner for you. Please join us for dinner and fellowship.
- 7pm: Join us for worship and a testimony.
- 8pm: Open Share Groups.
- 9pm: Sold Rock Café.
- A new Men’s 12-Step Group has started and meets every Monday at 6:30pm in room 146. Enrollment is open.
- A New Women’s Mixed Issue 12-Step Group is forming now. Start date is January 22 at 6:30pm.