I was going to title this "Unorthodox Solution" but even as I typed, I thought, "No, this is pure orthodoxy. I'm just applying it oddly." So I changed my mind. You can decide if I was right to do so.
This weekend was good in some ways and bad in others. The same cycle of anger, depression, irritability and apathy caught up with me eventually and lasted into the work week. That was unacceptable. Something had to change.
I've listened to Christian radio through all of this (American Family Radio, if you're curious), and whenever a sermon came on, I listened. David Jeremiah is preaching on forgiveness and "leading into temptation" as taught in The Lord's Prayer. The late Adrian Rogers spoke about how the mature Christian needs to suck it up and endure all hardship as God's best for us. I listened resentfully to that one. Michael Yousef had some things to say about forgiveness, too. Sensing a theme?
The bones are there. I have a problem with someone. I feel betrayed. I'm not getting anywhere with being upset about it. It's time to forgive.
I have Biblical backing for this decision, as all those pastors will attest. Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy times seven times the brother who sins against him and repents. Jesus said when you're bringing your gift to the alter and remember you have something against your brother (or he has something against you), go and be reconciled and then return to make your offering. Jesus prayed, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
Can you tell I'm at the gospel portion of my chronological Bible reading?
OK. Forgiveness. That's not about feeling. It's about will. I must make up my mind to forgive and then do it.
So I did. I sat down with God and told Him I forgive Him and I want to move on. We went back quite a ways, too. All the slights I've held onto for the past 10 years or so. I forgave Him for all of them.
Now, how can I forgive the source of all forgiveness when He's the reason I'm upset? (I'm going to set aside for this moment the question of whether I should be upset with God. The fact is I was and it was getting me nowhere.) Good question. Here's my thinking. By forgiving Him, I remove the barrier that has prevented me from leaning on Him for the grace I've been missing. By practicing His teaching, I'm putting myself back into His will. A stretch? Maybe. Blasphemous? I hope not.
All I can say is a difference appears to have been made. My mantra when those old recriminations surface is "I forgave that" and we move on. My mood is lighter. The change was so noticeable my Best Friend who saw me before and after asked, "Are you really happy or are you faking?" Trust me, I don't "fake" that well.
Unorthodox? Only in the subject matter. The process is absolutely what's He's told me to do.
I have made an appointment to see a doctor and be sure I don't have something chemical happening, too, but the mind leads the body and my mind has been in a very dark place. I'm finally seeing a light. Its Jesus-shaped.
Oh, and while I was going to keep this to myself because of the oddness of the application, Mom heard a sermon this week about how God breaks us so that we can "share" with others. So I'm sharing. My apologies if it offends. Please forgive me.