Sunday, November 1, 2009

007 My Bad Attitude and Forgiveness

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November 4, 2009

I lied! I said I would continue with the notes from the book today, but I'd like to address this pattern of anger, frustration, self-pity, and ingratitude I'm seeing in me as I work on this daily post. Yes, I am angered that the doctors I've seen over the years have been incompetent, misdiagnosing me, and making me worse from the years of medications that were detrimental to my health. See Mark 5.25-29. My complaining attitude, though, in light of what God has done for me is unacceptable. He has forgiven all my sins and yet I still complain (remind you of some Isrealites for 40 years?!).

I need to learn how to handle the injustices done toward me by those who have done it intentionally or not. I realize that the many doctors I have seen just flat out don't care. I'm sure there are good, competent doctors out there who will take the time to understand CFS and Adrenal issues without thinking everything is about psychology and psychiatry, and really look into the endocrine system, but there's nothing I can do to change the fact that most will not.

Forgiveness is tricky though. Over the years, I've heard Evangelical Christians say we should forgive everyone whether repentance is involved or not. It's caused a lot of confusion for me as I try to apply this statement to the gospel (where repentance is necessary for forgiveness) and to such incidents as, say, rape. Let's say someone raped your wife or mother tonight. Do we, as Christians just forgive the matter and require nothing of the person? Just sweep it under the rug? Heavy thoughts! And this is why I want to learn what biblical forgivness is. I have two books on order to learn about what God requires of His children in the area of forgiveness. They are "Unpacking Forgiveness" by Chris Brauns and "Bold Love" by Dan Allender.

As I'm looking through God's Word, I'm seeing that Jesus did not pray for all to be forgiven. If He had, that would be Universalism. The Father does not deny the Son anything and we know not all are forgiven because Jesus said there will be many in Hell. Forgiveness does not mean "what you did doesn't really matter, let's just live life and forget about it." No, that's not forgiveness (but I have thought that from years in church), nor does it leave room for true reconciliaton. In reading a review by Tim Challies on the book, "Unpacking Forgivness" by Chris Brauns, I read:

How, then, does God forgive? Brauns defines God's forgiveness in this way: "A
commitment by the one true God to pardon graciously those who repent and believe
so that they are reconciled to him, although this commitment does not eliminate
all consequences." We see that God's forgiveness is gracious but not free; it is
conditional (meaning that only those who repent and believe are forgiven); it
lays the groundwork for reconciliation; and it does not eliminate all
consequences. And this model of forgiveness, exemplified so clearly and so
amazingly in the cross, is the pattern we are to imitate. Human forgiveness,
then, is "a commitment by the offended to pardon graciously the repentant from
moral liability and so to be reconciled to that person, although not all
consequences are necessarily eliminated."

Another good blog post that Tim Challies wrote was on this topic of forgiveness which can be found HERE about whether forgiveness is conditional or is like I've always been taught, unconditional.

I do need to learn the biblical way of forgiving people and I know not only will I be obeying God in doing so, but it will bring relief to me and deliverance from some bitterness I've accumulated over the years. I hate to admit that, but that's what it is and my God knows it and is helping me. I think part of this is because I thought that forgiveness all this time was to just allow things to happen to me and not deal with them (you know, turn the other cheek and just let abuses continue to happen). It will also make room for possible reconciliation. In all this, I am actually very grateful to Christ for this illness (though in the posts on this blog, I've not shown that. I'm sorry, Lord.). I am thankful to Him because:

  1. This is what He used to bring me to Himself so I could receive forgiveness of sin as I've cried out for mercy,

  2. He has used it for good and provided a way for me to come closer to Him and further away from an ungodly worldview,

  3. It has actually strengthened my marriage, growing my husband and I, not breaking our marriage down,

  4. It has allowed me to show compassion and care for others who are suffering (not always Adrenal Syndrome sufferers, but all types of people) and helping me to live out 1 Corinthians 1.3-7

  5. He has helped me to be grateful for the little things in life that I can do,

  6. It makes the cross look really big and wonderful when I see that my suffering isn't nearly what it should be which would be eternal death instead of eternal life with some afflictions while still in this body.

"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

- 2 Corinthians 4.17-18

So, I'm sorry that my attitude stinks sometimes. God is working on me regarding sinful attitudes. Don't give up on me as I progress not only in this health journey, but as the Lord sanctifies me more and more, especially in being less self-centered. I'll continue on to PART 2 of Chapter 4 of "Chronic Fatigue Unmasked 2000" by Dr. Gerald Poesnecker tomorrow.

My other blogs can be found HERE and HERE.

The original post for this daily diary began HERE.

Coram Deo,

Tamara Slack