So, God has opened my eyes to some things regarding my friend or "friend." I thank Him for that. Between what a friend in my small group said, the pastor at my church that I talked to said, and what someone else told me, it sunk in and the light bulb went off. I have reached the I am ticked at you stage and I no longer feel sorry for you stage because all of your issues that you are having are your doing and not some outside forces doing it to you. This came a week after a sermon on forgiveness and the very day that we had an excellent discussion on the sermon in my small group. This stage was followed shortly thereafter by the your a jerk stage.
This now leads me to realizing that there is more than one way to live out the gospel in the lives of others. I thought it entailed helping someone with a need. Oh no folks. So much more than that. One aspect is modeling forgiveness when the other person has been mean and a jerk to you. Even if I never say the words I forgive you, but forgiving them in my heart. Because let's just face it. If I went up to my friend or "friend" and said I forgive you he would be like okay I did nothing wrong. Another aspect is showing compassion to them. That does not mean I feel sorry for you. It means I have compassion on their spiritual condition and continue to pray for their salvation. Which is hard to do when my friend or "friend" has been a jerk to me and has been mean to me.
I am also learning that forgiveness is a process. It is easy for an outside person to say oh just forgive and move on. But forgiveness really is a process and it is something that only God can do. So I am asking God to show me and teach me how to forgive my friend or "friend" so that way I can have compassion on his spiritual condition and keep praying for his salvation. I know that all of these things have not been a coincidence. God did bring our paths to cross for a purpose. I will continue to pray for his salvation and a wake up call for his life. Some people need a wake up call for their lives before they realize their need for God. My friend or "friend" is one of those people. I believe his wake up call is en route and will be here before any of us knows it. If my part in all of this is to plant the seed and pray then I will do it and do it well (kind of like the episode of Friends when Phoebe got to be in charge of cups and ice for Monica's bridal shower).
Today's song is Forgiveness by Matthew West. Very appropriate for what God is teaching me on this great adventure of faith. Enjoy!