Forgiveness

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Familial relationships can at times be volatile. Our friend shares his experience of how God opened his heart to humility and forgiveness as he overcame his anger and hate towards his father and sought for forgiveness.    

Grumpy, tired and jet lagged; I had just come from an overseas Christian conference. I was feeling a bit holier than before, but little did I know, God was about to teach me a lesson on humility. 

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When I was younger, my father was very successful. However later in life he began to fail at most the things he did. Our family had almost lost everything until my mom made a decision to start working on her own. She started a business and worked extremely hard. After a few years things began to flourish and my mom became a successful businesswoman. Later in life I remember how she’d always complain about my dad never working and always wasting away his time. Unfortunately I began to adopt the same thinking and I too judged him for not being “successful.”

Coming back home and staying with the parents can be a bit difficult at times. This time however, things got really bad.  I remember waking up to my dad yelling at me to go help my mom at work. I told him I was still jet lagged and tired from my trip. I ignored him and went back to sleep. He came back again and told me that I need to be responsible and that I need to work. As he was yelling at me, all the things that I had judged him for began to come out. In my mind I wondered how in the world could he have the audacity to say these things to me? Someone who has failed in life and who does not have a job is telling me what I should or shouldn’t do? We began our barrage of hurtful words and I finally I screamed, “I never F#$KING want to be like you! I HATE YOU!! I Hate you!!!” I slammed the bedroom door and tried to go back to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, I heard a knock on my door. I shouted, “What do you want?” To my utter surprise the response was a police officer responding, “Irvine Police, open the door.” I was completely shocked and couldn’t believe what my dad had just done. As I opened the door, I saw two officers standing in my doorway. Noticing that they have not taken off their shoes and were wearing boots in the house, I asked them what was going on. They told me that my father felt threatened and that he said I was acting violently and slamming doors.  I was appalled and told them that we just had an argument and everything was fine. They asked a few more questions before leaving the house.

At that moment everything I believed that a father should be was shattered. I no longer felt safe around the man who should’ve been my guardian. I quietly left the house and drove back to my apartment. That week, I tried to pray but I couldn’t. I was so angry and hurt. I was bitter and frustrated. Every time I cried out to the Lord, all I could feel was the bitterness and hate inside of me. After a week of torment, I finally gotten so desperate that I said to the Lord, “Anything Lord! Anything. What must I do to hear Your voice?” As clear as day, I heard Him say, “Humble yourself.” I couldn’t believe what I just heard, so argued with Him. My father should have provided for me while I was growing up. He has done so many things wrong. He called the COPS on me!! God? What the hell is wrong him?

I knew that the Lord had spoken and so I began to think how I could apologize to my dad.  I knew that regardless of what he has done, I was also at fault. I was too upset to talk to him or see him, so I wrote an email apologizing for my own behavior. I said I was sorry for not honoring him and saying things that I shouldn’t have. As I took responsibility for my own actions and set it in my heart not to judge him, the Lord showed me how to truly forgive. I no longer try to change him, nor do I judge him by what he does wrong or does right. God let me see that he too was broken, and needed healing.

Since that time, I can honestly say that I love my dad. We still have our issues, but God has brought a lot healing in our relationship. Through that experience, I can honestly say that I have learned to forgive. 

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