October 15, 2021
Are You Giving Others Power Over You?
We have been discussing forgiveness for several days: what it is, what it isn’t, why we avoid it, and why it is important. Today, I will tell you about an aspect of forgiveness that pushed me to forgive fully, which wasn’t easy. Over the years, I played many sports and was very competitive. My kids would say I still am. When I was wronged, my competitive nature (and some other baggage) would kick in. I wouldn’t let anybody beat me! I needed my rival to realize that I was in control … that I wasn’t beaten … that they would hurt more than I did.
To satisfy my competitive nature, I needed them to admit they were wrong, to take responsibility for their actions, to feel some significant pain, to suffer a consequence as penance for their transgression against me, or to help take away my hurt. Do you realize the problem this mindset made for me? The problem was that my happiness, relief, or comfort depended on the other person doing “something.”
Therefore, I was giving my “rivals” power over me. They could withhold the “thing” I needed for as long as they wanted. My need for “payment” made me dependent on them. What they wanted and were willing to do was out of my control but I allowed it to determine my next steps. I had trouble seeing the relationship clearly and moving forward because I still needed “something” from others so I could be content.
Bitterness, inferiority, fear, rage, nervousness, injustice, revenge, insecurity, anxiety and many other uneasy feelings would course through me when I saw or thought of my rivals and transgressors. Many of my behaviors inflicted pain on them, pushed them to see how they wronged me, or exerted some superiority over them so I could extract my payment from them, directly or indirectly. Finally, I realized I was granting them a lot of power and influence over me. I figured out I no longer wanted to give them that power. But I also realized that I don’t handle that power very well myself. So, I decided to give that role over to God. He has the power, deserves the power, and will always see that justice is administered. I just need to let God do His job. Then I can follow God’s instructions and do the job of managing myself, not others.
Today, try to identify people who have power over you, or who negatively dominate your thought world. Chances are you haven’t forgiven some of them and still need “something” from them so you can move forward. Think about why you need that “something”. That is your issue. Quit pointing the finger at others. God has given you more than you could ever need or want. So what else can someone possibly give you? WITHIN REACH will help you access the Holy Spirit so you can forgive others. Whether you’ll give them power over you or you turn the situation over to God and receive His power is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father, thanks for helping me learn how to forgive. I am so sorry for how I have failed to manage hurts in a way that glorified you. I want to be salt and light. I want to help others. I want to depend on You alone. Help me to see the forgiveness You extend to me and not worry about what others will or will not do. Help me see the evil one as the real enemy. I pray in the name of Jesus and His forgiving blood; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:18
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32