We’re all broken and in need. Sometimes we’re too blessed to see it but, there are days when our prone-to-wander hearts lead us off track and we quickly become aware of our needs. Grace. Mercy. Love. Forgiveness. We need these and so much more!
Recently, I had an argument with my husband. It was a doozy! I was angry and let my words fly. I have a lifelong love of words and have developed quite a vocabulary. Believe me, I contain an arsenal of verbal weapons capable of mass destruction. And, unfortunately, I hurled my fiercest words at the person I love most in the world.
I quickly wanted to reel those harsh words in and take back the pain they caused. I wanted to restore the relationship I had hurt.
I’ve heard that harsh words are like nails. Once you hammer a nail into wood, you can remove it, but the hole remains.
I didn’t want that hole to remain.
But I was still feeling the offense that drew my fire. I was hurt and angry.
Here’s what I’m learning about forgiveness: don’t bother seeking it while your heart is unforgiving toward others. Mine was.
I needed to soften my heart before I could address the issue with my husband. I needed to go to God with the hurt and anger I was feeling and work it out with him before I could discuss it with Mike with any clarity or kindness. Ideally, I would have done this before blowing up at him. This time, I’d failed.
I brought my needs to the One who could make things right.
Have you ever blown up at someone because you were hurt or angry?
Here are the steps I took that you may want to take if you find yourself in a similar situation:
1. Search your heart.
Discuss with God what happened. What did the other person say or do that pushed my buttons? What part of me did they hurt? How was I impacted? Is there a deeper trigger that needs to be resolved with a counselor, mentor, or pastor? Don’t skip over this part. The hurts against you need to be worked out. Address your feelings and learn new ways to express them.
2. Own your part.
What attitudes and expectations led me to react as I did? Once I understood my part I repented.
3. Make a start.
I forgave my husband. Period. After working through Steps 1 and 2, my heart was softened and forgiving was easy. Sometimes it’s not and I just have to do it anyway!
4. Humble your heart.
Next, I humbly asked my husband for forgiveness for my harsh words and the attitude behind them. He forgave me! Then we were able to discuss the conflict and gain an understanding of each other’s needs.
Scripture tells us: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, it will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
If you’ve used harsh words and need forgiveness, try giving forgiveness first and then ask if the other party is open to forgiving you too! You just might find that giving what you need brings it right back in your lap!